It’s never too late for love, even in the second half of life. In February of this year, Bob Olson and Maxine Sigford celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary at the ages of 94 and 95. After 65 years of marriage to others, they met, dated for 2 weeks, and decided to tie the knot. With such a unique story, we knew we had to do some special to make their anniversary memorable and to spark their love.
In a conversation with Betty, their Lifesprk Life Care Manager, on their ride home from a routine doctor’s visit, Bob shared that he use to love to ride the train from Minneapolis to St. Paul and that the last time he rode it was a celebration ride. Betty was telling Bob that the train rides today happened on the Light Rail; Bob was familiar with it but had never experienced it. So, Betty asked Bob if he and Maxine would like to ride the Light Rail some day to which he replied, “That would be great – let’s do it! And while we’re out, let’s stop and have a bite to eat!”
So along with Betty, the Lifesprk team began planning an unforgettable experience for the two. Bob and Maxine knew that they were going on a Light Rail ride and eating lunch at Murray’s Restaurant, but what they didn’t know is that Lifesprk had planned a special surprise in Minneapolis when they arrived! On May 15th, Bob and Maxine boarded the Light Rail and took the train to 6th Street in Minneapolis, where Murray’s Restaurant is located and where our special surprise was waiting! Bob had many questions on the Light Rail and pointed out landmarks along the way. He also mentioned that the last time he was at Murray’s was in the 1970’s. Once the Light Rail reached our destination, everyone was excited and hungry! As we got to the restaurant, they were shocked by who was waiting there for them.
Their two daughters, Laurie Palmer and Michelle Palmer, had flown in from the opposite ends of the country to be there. One of their grandsons, Dan Palmer, had also driven up from Iowa which was extra special because they hadn’t seen him in 4 years! All to celebrate this couple’s special day! Needless to say they were elated to see their family members waiting to greet them. It was a great sight to see the smiles stayed plastered on their faces all afternoon.
After the surprise, we left the family to eat lunch privately. Although we weren’t there, Betty did share some fun things that happened during the lunch. According to her, Dan shared lots of photos of his family while we were eating and some fun memories too. Dan reminisced about what a Vikings fan Maxine was, and still is! She used to refer to Chris Carter as “cute buns Carter” which brought a few laughs from everyone. Their daughters were also very thrilled to be included in this great day recognizing Bob and Maxine and even more excited to get the chance to spend time with their parents. As they finished off the lunch with desserts, Maxine blew out a candle on her hot fudge sundae with a big smile on her face.
After lunch, we drove Bob and Maxine home in style. They couldn’t stop talking about the wonderful afternoon they had and were extremely grateful. “Today was a 10 out of 10” quipped Bob. Not only were we able to provide a deserving couple with an amazing experience, but we were able to involve family that they often don’t get to see which made it even more special! Thank you to everyone who made this day possible, especially Murray’s, we couldn’t have done it without you! Bob and Maxine truly live sparked lives. Love on, Bob and Maxine!
With the help of their Life Care Manager Betty Bundul, Bob and Maxine are living a sparked life. Betty helps to manage and coordinate day to day activities for Bob and Maxine. With daughters in Seattle and Washington DC, having someone local to look out for them and communicate updates and changes is essential. Betty’s weekly life care manager visits have prevented hospitalizations and provided peace of mind for Bob, Maxine, and their daughters. They are grateful that they have a plan in place that allows them to maintain their independence and keep them at home.
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