To the editor:
Last year my mother's life came to a halt when my father passed. Frances Gauvey lost her best friend and had to leave her home of 20 years abruptly, never to return.
She came to live at Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral last August with a broken heart as a lost soul, but a strong will. As she told me so many times, her story was not unique to her. Everyone here has a similar story and has been acquainted with grief.
As mother faced her own healing she encountered empathy and compassion. She slowly began to make friends and found a sense of self in a safe place. She would share with me each celebration, every party and the stories of new friends, which included residents and employees.
What my mother learned in her 10 months at Gulf Coast Village is that she was loved. And she gave her love, which she was well practiced in giving with her family over the years. What was new and what she learned at Gulf Coast Village was the enormous joy in her ability to receive friendship, kindness, thoughtfulness, care and love.
Mom was in the habit of giving so freely. Sometimes she forgot to also receive. But, in your perseverance, she yielded to your love. In her very last few days she asked if it is a philosophy of Gulf Coast to love, not just her, but everyone. I know Pastor Tom Hafer did his magic to help mother to see her larger role in God's plans. I answered, that yes, Gulf Coast is about love, but that she also was able to receive the love, behold it and pass it along because of who she is.
I know she would not have been able to have this remarkable journey of love lost and found in any other place. It is all of you, the entire family of friends, workers and visitors who made it possible for my mother to have the best days of her life here.
And now you continue, with me and with so many others who fear the loss of their mother and father. I did. But your love radiated to me, too, and made it possible for me to face the impossible with a loving heart seeking grace. My heart lives on as my mother would wish, full of love for all of you.