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Entrepreneur, traveler, poet and now at home at Friendship Terrace

Helen Spence has been a highly independent woman her entire life and traveled extensively. A native of Massachusetts, she dreamed some day of opening her own business. When the opportunity presented itself, Helen took the plunge and acquired the Welcome Inn in Westport Connecticut. After running the Bed and Breakfast for 10 years, she moved from Connecticut to Maryland to be closer to her family. Once in Bethesda, Helen became active in Grace Episcopal Church and was the Congregational Liaison to Seabury. In that role she was exposed to Seabury programs and its people which created a very positive impression. Following the passing of Helen’s closest friend in her apartment building and her own declining health, she decided a move was in her and her family’s best interest. Given the very favorable Seabury experience, Helen decided on Friendship Terrace for her new home. “When I arrived at Friendship Terrace”, Helen commented, “I found the community to be warm and comfortable, everyone on the staff is so supportive and helpful. What shines through is their positive spirit, caring and concern for all residents.” She went on, “What is of primary importance for me is that I am able to remain highly engaged in my faith. Friendship Terrace has regular Bible Study classes, Prayers for Peace and periodic Episcopal Eucharist. I can walk across the street to St. Columba’s and attend worship services whenever I choose.” At Friendship Terrace, Helen participated in Common Threads. This inter-generational program developed by Seabury, is a creative worship based on life stories. It is designed for conversation, reflection, and worship, focusing on themes of joy, sorrow, hope, and change. Helen continued, “Giving up my home and moving into a retirement community was a difficult decision, it represented a loss of independence and starting a new chapter in my life. The Friendship team understands and appreciates that I have been on a long journey.” “I believe that successful aging is about attitude. What I and my fellow residents can do to remain engaged, enrich our own lives and bring hope and joy. The Seabury Friendship team brings kindness and compassion to me and my fellow residents every day.”

REFLECTIONS - by Helen P. Spence I am old, bold, audacious and courageous, don’t let me forget. Laugh with me as I falter, but support me with your strong arms. Smile with me through the memories of your youth and mine. Listen to our stories as they intertwine. Engage me in conversation that challenges me to be in my world, your world and the wider world. Don’t let me sit upon a shelf protected by solicitous tolerance. Remind me – oh yes remind me to open my eyes to the beauty of the world beyond what I can see. Sing with me old songs, new songs and songs from our souls, the rhythm of life within us. Let us continue to walk hand in hand, spirit to spirit bridging the path from parent, friend and companion. Above all, I thank and praise God for putting us together in this life journey we share.

Donations are critical to maintaining Seabury’s Friendship Terrace and other Seabury programs that provide affordable services to older adults. Your contribution enables Helen and residents like her to enrich and sustain their lives. Please make your donation today!

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