Mrs. Wilma Thompson, age 90, has lived in Washington County all her life, working as a homemaker, rearing a daughter, participating in church and civic activities. Not long ago, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and placed in a local nursing home.
Mrs. Thompson’s daughter, Anna, who drives up from New Bern to visit every Wednesday, was distraught to find her mother sitting in a corner staring into space. The best outing the county has to offer is a visit to the beauty shop followed by a trip to the library and lunch at an area restaurant.
On their first library visit, Librarian Assistant Doris Hoggard recognized Mrs. Thompson as a patron from years ago. Doris hugged her, showed her where the various collections are stored and helped her find books. Mrs. Thompson and Anna are now Wednesday morning regulars.
Mrs. Thompson has rediscovered Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Books. She also likes Nicholas Sparks. She may not read them all the way through but she shows interest in them, Anna says. When Mrs. Thompson showed interest in a jumbo checker set the library sets out, Anna purchased a board for Mrs. Thompson’s room and leaves a note instructing visitors to please challenge her mother to a game. Mrs. Thompson also asked her daughter to buy a small Christmas gift for Doris.
Libraries change lives!