Mona Holtman and her daughter Cheryl Mucci see each other at least once a week for fun that ranges from shopping at IKEA to seeking out the clues in a class for people who are interested in crime scene investigations.
Four years ago, though, if Mona and her late husband, Sid, wanted to see their only child, extensive travel plans needed to be arranged. Mona and Sid lived in Boynton Beach, Florida, then and saw Cheryl, of Enfield, Connecticut, only twice a year.
When Sid’s health began to decline in 2016, Mona knew it was time to make plans to move closer to Cheryl and her husband, Don. The couple visited Glenmeadow via a virtual tour on Cheryl’s iPad. They liked what they saw.
Mona and Sid moved in in November 2016. “I’ll never forget at the Thanksgiving table that first year, my daughter said, ‘I have my mother and father back,’” Mona says. “Having the warmth and love of your family means everything.”
Both mother and daughter are grateful the family had time to reconnect before Sid passed away nine months after he and Mona arrived, in August 2017. “There’s no doubt I made the right decision,” Mona says. “I have the support of my daughter. She is a pillar to lean on, and a crutch when I need her. I am also fortunate to have Don nearby, as he is also very important in my life.”
Because Mona lived in New England for 48 years before retiring to Florida with Sid, the move back to Western Mass—and Glenmeadow—was something of a homecoming for her. She and Sid had enjoyed the South and did a great deal of traveling. They were finding they were spending more time in doctors’ offices, though.
Cheryl says, “On one occasion when I was visiting, I asked mom, ‘Are you sure you’re going to want to stay here?’ I wanted all of us to have time together.”
Mona had already been thinking it was time to move. “I could see the handwriting on the wall,” Mona recalls. “When you know it’s not going to get better, you make a decision. Too many people don’t make that decision at the right time. They wait too long. I wanted to make the decision before it was made for us.”
The family looked at several other retirement communities, but “Glenmeadow was the one that rang the bell, if you will,” Cheryl says. “It felt more consistent with mom’s lifestyle, and it was just 12 miles away, so commuting would be no problem if she or my dad needed anything.”
Cheryl and Don were able to help while Cheryl’s father was ill as well as provide Mona with company and support. “I was way more comfortable having them closer so I could keep my finger on the pulse,” she says. “I was happy that I could see my dad in his last days in 2017.”
Cheryl continues to value the quality of our services. She says her mother can “run circles around me,” but nevertheless, our team members keep her informed if there is ever a concern.
Mona says Glenmeadow exceeds her expectations. “I love how its managed, how progressive it is, how it’s keeping up with the times,” she says. “In today’s age, you have to. I’m happy with what they do and how they do it.”
While Mona misses Sid dearly, she has reinvented herself at Glenmeadow. “I paint in Deb Padden’s art classes. I use the pool and exercise. I can go to temple just around the corner, and I even started a publication called Hummingbird, which is now in its seventh edition. I have such an active, involved life here with my friends and neighbors.”
Mona adds, “Being a widow and alone gave me the chance to explore and try new things, like a new network of friends. The Glenmeadow team members and residents produced the show Glenmeadow Has Talent, in which I enjoyed being involved and producing the number ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ You never know where life is going to take you.”