Nursing home celebrates Valentine’s Day
Though most of their relatives weren't in attendance, Carol and Eva Bell Gerstenberger celebrated 69 years of marriage with people who, in spirit, closely resemble family.
It was all a part of the Valentine's banquet Feb. 13 at Medicalodge of Eudora.
The Gerstenbergers, who have lived in Eudora for most of their lives, both said the key to staying married so long was not holding a grudge.
"Don't get mad and stay mad; when you're in love you don't do that," she said.
Her husband, Carol, reflected happily on their life together.
"My father told me 'never go to sleep at night without kissing your wife,'" he said. "I followed that, but I missed a lot of sleep."
He also said the couple used to travel a lot but now are unable. Although they would like to be able to celebrate the occasion with their children, they still were happy to be with the people at the facility.
"We're just here by ourselves, but we've got a lot of good friends here," Carol Gerstenberger said. "We're also really glad they (Medicalodge) have a new administrator."
The aforementioned administrator, Tami Klinedinst, said the first-time Valentine's Day event at the skilled nursing facility was done in an effort to bring families closer together and draw the community into the facility.
"My goal is to create more of a family type of environment, not just with the residents and their loved ones, but also with the staff," Klinedinst said.
While the residents honored the Gerstenbergers, they also voted Chester Williams and Blanche Knabe king and queen of Medicalodge of Eudora. Klinedinst said the whole facility was abuzz with excitement leading up to the event.
"They've been talking about it the whole month now," she said. "It's the first time the activity directors have put something on like this, so they're a little nervous. It's been neat for the facility's staff because they've had to pull together and work together to make something like this happen."