Ed and Dorothy Keen recall passing notes back and forth in a high school French class as the spark for their romance began more than 50 years ago.
The path for the couple has taken many turns over the past half century. Dorothy is now a resident of Trillium Lodge in Parksville — one of 60 residential care facilities funded by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
While care needs have created challenges, the couple has developed routines to stay connected.
Ed has a van adapted for wheelchair access so he and Dorothy can make frequent outings — especially if there is a classical music concert in the area. He is a regular visitor for afternoon tea and other events at Trillium.
Ed said one of the highlights of the week is when Dorothy, a former piano teacher, sits down to play.
“Dorothy is paralyzed on her right side but she can still play with her left. A volunteer comes in on Mondays and plays with her right hand. They make beautiful music together,” Ed said.
“It is a pleasure to see the residents smile when their family member comes in to join them for meals or one of our special events,” said Vivian Albright, activity supervisor at Trillium.
Trillium Auxiliary members and other volunteers also play an important role in brightening the days for residents with everything from manicures, baking and special events such as the recent Robbie Burns Day festivities, Albright added.
— Submitted by VIHA