“Listening to opera makes my heart wake up,” says Edith Almadi. “When I listen, I think of happiness.”
The Misericordia Place resident says she never tires of watching TV opera performances and would very much like to go to a live opera performance when it is safe to do so.
Edith remembers singing growing up in Budapest. She emigrated to Canada from Hungary when her son four years old. He started kindergarten the same time she began work as a nurse. Although her career was in health care, she never lost her love of music.
When the kind folks at Manitoba Underground Opera heard of Edith’s desire to hear a live song they immediately jumped in and offered to do special Zoom performances just for her!
Both Katherine Mayba and Sydney Clarke gave incredibly moving solo performances for Edith, who “conducted” her hands to their singing.
“So beautiful,” whispered Edith, gently wiping tears of joy from her eyes.
When pressed to name her favourite aria, Edith couldn’t decide.
“It doesn’t matter the song or the language, the music says the words here,” explained Edith, touching her heart.
At 86 years young, Eapen uses his arm bike every day in his Misericordia Place room for at least 20 minutes every day.
“I’m so grateful for the bike,” he says, “I used to walk across my floor to the north side, but with (COVID) restrictions in place I can only walk on the south side for now.”
If Eapen could visit anywhere in Manitoba, he dreams of heading to his favourite East Indian restaurant: Southern Spices on St. Mary’s Road in Winnipeg – with his wife of 53 years, Marykutty, who also happens to be an MP resident!
For now, thanks to our friends at Southern Spices Restaurant and the ever caring and creative Misericordia Place staff, a special lunch was the perfect way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day.
Southern Spices opened their kitchen early today just to make this dream come true for Eapen and Marykutty! And to make the lunch even more magical, a Resident Care Manager who is from the same region of India as our happy couple brought in special Indian dishes from her house to serve the food on. There was an Indian music playlist and Recreation Therapist Kevin played the part of waiter for the meal.
Can you think of a Winnipegger who hasn’t been to the Forks?
Misericordia Place resident Marie can: herself!
“I was a country girl and moved to the city to work at the Royal Bank. All these years and I’ve never been to The Forks! I’d like to go,” says Marie.
Marie’s interested in checking out the shops, visiting a restaurant and just wandering down to the rivers.
She’s biking to get stronger so her walking improves.
Recreation facilitator Rael says 84-year-old Marie has more tension on the bike than ANY OTHER resident!
Donors to last year's Around the World campaign allowed us to purchase more bikes for residents to use - thank you! Everyone is so excited to continue the momentum and stay active this year. We truly appreciate all your support. - Rael and Marie
Misericordia Place’s resident violist Leonard Carlson, 81, would like nothing better than a night out at the symphony!
Unfortunately, COVID restrictions and personal care home guidelines dictate otherwise.
The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s acting principal violist, Elise Lavallee, offered a creative solution until a trip to the symphony is possible: have Leonard join her 90-minute viola Zoom class for mature advanced students aged 70-77!
Leonard more than fit right in: playing along with four other students. Bach, Kreisler, Rachmaninov, Glinka and more!
Even better, the students all knew Leonard!
“Is that Len Carlson?” an on-screen message popped up. Turns out the students had all played in orchestras and string quartets with Leonard and had very fond memories of him as far back as 50 years ago!
A Zoom reunion!
Music has always been in Leonard’s blood, infused by “musical parents” who immigrated to Canada from Finland. And he’s clearly passed his love of music down to his children, who grew up playing a variety of instruments.
Daughter Andrea played piano and harp. His daughter Karen, an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Waterloo, plays the cello and composes. When Karen’s able to visit Winnipeg she brings her cello and plays duets at Misericordia Place with her dad. And son Ian plays the violin.
“Dad is a much better player than I am,” says Ian. “The last time we played together he put me to shame.”
“My Dad’s timing in music is steady and consistent,” shares Andrea, “An amazing skill he has never lost. He started playing the violin at age six and later switched to viola.”
Leonard’s always been interested in dabbling in writing music as well, including writing his high school theme song. Interestingly, Leonard’s younger brother Bruce is an accomplished composer.
These days Leonard serenades (indoors!) his fellow Misericordia residents on their birthdays and is frequently found accompanying pianists in activity rooms.
Elizabeth has always loved dogs!
The 93-year-old Misericordia Place resident recently expressed a wish to visit the Winnipeg Humane Society when day trips are available again.
The WHS’s Animal Companionship Program did one better: handler Kendra and her dog Joey made a special trip to visit Elizabeth at Misericordia Place on a cold winter’s day.
We’re not sure who enjoyed the visit more: Elizabeth or Joey.
Elizabeth embraced the doggie snuggles, saying they brought back memories of her precious “singing” dog, Penny.
“I would hold the phone close to him,” explained Elizabeth, laughing, “and say to him: ‘sing!’ and he’d say ‘Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh’ to my niece in England … she would say: ‘That’s not singing!’ but I said it was in dog language!”
Elizabeth has fond memories of Penny sleeping on her bedding and sneaking up to her pillow. She misses watching Penny swimming in the lake and dressing Penny up in jaunty scarves. In fact, Elizabeth has a framed picture of Penny wearing one such scarf in her room at Misericordia Place.
Elizabeth fussed over Joey, not believing he was 14 years old. “An old man!” she said, encouraging Joey to shake paw.
Kendra was not allowed to leave until Elizabeth extracted a promise to bring Joey back again for another visit.
“Sometimes animals are better visitors than people,” said Elizabeth, smiling.
Misericordia Health Centre Foundation
99 Cornish Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3C 1A2
Charitable Registration Number:
11904 2174 RR0001