Flippo's Carefree Living
07/15/2010 - What a Lady, What a Life      



When I arrived at the office this morning I was met with the news that a person near and dear to me had passed away.  Jewel Chorn, was 94 years young, and had been battling Parkinson's for almost the past 15 years of her life.  For eight of those years she lived here at Carefree Living, however, she did more than live here, she taught here.  She taught those of us who worked here just what character, strength, and determination are all about.   If you were to know Julie, than you knew too, that she was living proof that you can in fact grow old gracefully, even when there is nothing graceful about it.

One of my earliest memories of Julie goes back to the summer of 2003; I had been on the job for about three weeks and I noticed that Julie ate more chocolate  than Willy Wonka.  I was concerned enough to make her a doctors appointment, because in my foolish twenty three year old mind I thought there was no way that much chocolate could be good for a person.  Well, I was wrong.  During her doctors visit I mentioned my concern about Julie's eating habits, and the doctor kindly told me that at 89 years old, I'd say Ms. Chorn can eat what she likes, whatever that is, apparently its been working just fine (wish that would have been my doctor growing up). Julie then chimed in that she could only hope it would be the chocolate that did her in.  Lesson learned, chocolate wasn't something that Julie just enjoyed, she savored it, and it wasn't going anywhere.  Eight years later, I tell some of our residents, that it was Julie Chorn who helped pave the way for onions and bacon grease in the green beans, hey, you only live once!  Lesson learned Julie!

Along with her unwavering love of chocolate, Julie Chorn loved animals.  One afternoon several years back I remember sitting in my office and Julie and her way too fast, motorized wheel chair came zipping through my door.  She wanted to know if I had some stamps she could buy from me.  I told her yes, but that I wouldn't take her money, just bring me the envelopes and I'll get them stamped and in the mail.  Well, a few minutes later she comes back with probably 7 or 8 envelopes of which everyone was for some kind of animal rescue or wild life fund.  Julie taught me another lesson that day, never get between her and an animal in need!   If you had fur and four legs, Julie Chorn was your biggest advocate!  Animals, were truly an integral part of her life.

One of the last times I saw Julie was in the hospital shortly after her heart attack.  I had called her children and told them it didn't look to good but that I was on my way there and would let them know information as I recieved it.  Upon arriving at the hospital I immediately went to the ER where I asked the doctor point blank what her chance of survival was, she told me there wasn't one, a person in their 50's would be lucky to make it, let alone someone in their 90's.  As the doctor left I went into Julie's room and grabbed her hand and whispered to her that it was OK to let go.  A nurse came in to check on her vitals, and asked if I was her grandson, I told her no, and jokingly added she probably wouldn't claim me if I was.  At that moment Julie opened her eyes and in her almost inaudible voice said to me I'd claim you.  Julie, I'll always claim you too!  Julie made it another four weeks, which provided her with enough time to celebrate her ninety fourth birthday with all three of her children.  Although, I'm sad that my time with Julie is up, I'm so incredibly happy that we made good on the time she had when she was here.  What a lady, what a life!!!

 

 

 

 

 
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