A resident’s story

Officially Abbeyfield’s most mature resident “Amazing Grace” as the Watford Observer recently named her, celebrated her 105th birthday on the 15th February 2007.

Like the Queen, Grace has two birthdays for she was born just before midnight on the 14th February when the nurse introduced her to her Father as his ‘Special Valentine’ – however due to a mix up, the registration of her birth was recorded as the 15th!

Grace has spent the past 105 years having two Birthdays, for official business it is the 14th but for celebrations with family and friends it is the 15th.

Grace was born and raised in the village of Earlsfield near Clapham Junction London in, 1902.  Grace married her husband Eric in 1929 before moving to nearby Mitcham Green, where Grace worked for the civil service and Eric managed a high class gentleman’s outfitters.

Grace and Eric had one daughter Sheila.  When Eric retired in 1956 the couple bought a bungalow in Exmouth, Devon and they spent their time growing fruit and vegetables on their allotment.

After 68 happy years of marriage Eric died in 1997 and Grace moved to Sibleys Orchard an Abbeyfield Support House in Hemel Hempstead so as to be near her daughter Sheila, her five grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Grace came to Friars Mead in August 2004, she still plays a good game of Scrabble, although she struggles to get her head round the amount of money that things cost these days. She says “It’s a different world now to the one I was brought up in!”

Grace’s secret to a long life? –  “I’ve always been satisfied with what I’ve got and never been envious of other people. I had a lovely husband and have a lovely daughter and I’m very lucky to have good health.”