On Jan. 27th, 2016, Connie celebrated her 81st birthday at Wellspring.
Her friends gifted her bouquets of flowers, homemade beans, cactus and posole soup. Throughout the morning, they lined up to hug her.
Connie is native to Spain. She moved to America forty years ago to be closer to her husband’s family. When they met, he was an American G.I. on tour in Spain.
“I had a twin sister and he first talked to my sister,” she said. “I came into the house and he said, ‘I’ve had one too many, I am seeing double.”
They fell in love.
What did you love about him?
“Everything,” she said. “He was a nice man – I was married to him for fifty years and it was beautiful. I fought him, but he didn’t fight me.”
How many kids did you have?
“Now, I have four,” she said. “I used to have five. My oldest daughter passed away. I don’t want to talk about it – when your daughter or your son dies, you are not expecting that. My daughter committed suicide.”
Connie has been a regular at Wellspring for eight years. Her friend initially brought her to the Center.
“Wellspring is the best thing that has happened to me,” she said.
“To me, Wellspring is everything,” she added. “It is friendship and you have enemies too, but most of it is friendship and there is coffee too.”
“It is my medicine,” she said.
“Today I have an appointment and I cannot understand what it means so Norma, Wellspring’s Bi-Lingual Outreach Coordinator, explained it to me,” she said. “Sometimes I need some papers copied and they do it for me. The things that I get help with may seem like little things, but to me they are big things.”
She arrives at Wellspring at 7:30 am and then leaves after breakfast to go to the Women’s Civic Center where she takes part in their senior lunch program.
“Wellspring and the senior citizen’s lunch program help me because I am not so nervous or quiet,” she said. “Because of them, I feel relaxed.”
Connie’s niece recently visited her and facilitated a Facetime session between Connie and her twin sister, who she had not seen in 15 years.
“The phones are beautiful,” she said. “I cannot play with them, but they are beautiful. I found out something about where you can see people from other places and you can sit with them and talk to them. If you see me, you see my sister. We both wear our hair the same way. It is the same color. We even have the same glasses. I almost cried.”
“It was the best thing to happen to me,” she said “I still sit in my chair and think about it and cry.”