DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A Dallas funeral home sent a nearby seniors’ home some flowers on Friday. But it wasn’t any kind of marketing ploy, it was a Valentine’s Day celebration for its new neighbor.
The Black and Clark Funeral Home—celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, though it became employee owned-and-operated in 2006—sent the roses to the residents of Remarkable Health Care Dallas, a newcomer to the Oak Cliff community, having just opened in April of last year.
The flowers were a surprise that began taking shape hours earlier at the funeral home.
“Really, to bring a little joy and love and to let them know we’re here in the community and to let them know we’re about more than death; we want to celebrate life as well,” Black and Clark’s President and CEO, Linda Mitchell, told CBS 11 News, as she and board member Rita White and White’s sister, Jane Taylor, prepared the flowers. “In my mind it’s (death) just the extension of life to me. And I’d rather give a rose to a person while they’re living and not wait until they’re dead and they can’t smell it,” Mitchell offered.
Each rose was personally prepared with a special greeting card. “The card says, ‘A rose for a special valentine. Have a happy Valentine’s,’” Mitchell said.
And then it was off to the seniors’ home. “I’m excited about seeing the face of the people once we present this to them.”
Once there, special live music, themed with the lyrics of love, was offered by cellists Jordan Cleaver and Najeeb Sabour. It completed the atmosphere’s theme of love as the seniors celebrated with cookies and punch.
The home’s residents are addressed as “neighbors,” and there are 55 of them. A rose and a valentine went to each one, to the neighbors’ delight.
“All of our neighbors are very excited about our Valentine’s social,” Head Nurse Deanna McCoy told CBS 11 News. “A lot of neighbors may not remember that it’s even Valentine’s, but when they get that rose, that will spark their memory, and we hope that it will bring a lot of joy and satisfaction to them.”
Neighbor Esther Mason agreed. “It’s wonderful to be remembered. As a senior citizen, we get to love each other on one accord because it’s a lot of us and we can’t help but love one another.” And she added, “For Valentine or any time.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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