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Celebrating Mothers For Who They Were & Who They Are

On Mother’s Day, all mothers deserve to be celebrated and spoiled.

These days, things are more leisurely for the mothers living on the Wilf Campus. But while they may not be worrying about cooking and cleaning and providing for a family, the love they share with those families is just as strong, and on Mother’s Day they deserve just as much to be celebrated and spoiled.

In honor of Mother’s Day, on May 8 all residents and hospice patients will receive a gift — a lantern-style light, presented by the Wilf Campus Foundation. At Stein Assisted Living, everyone will be entertained by violinist David Podles, who will perform a selection of classical and modern music. Fittingly for a day of celebration, refreshments will be served. And on Monday, May 9, Wilentz Senior residents will be honoring their mothers with a tea party on the Patio.

For Ida Rose, who moved to Stein from her home in North Brunswick in 2013, Mother’s Day was always a great day. She was one of five herself, and had three children of her own. One has passed away but her surviving daughter and son make sure she feels loved.

She told marketing assistant Mary Belle Valenzuela, “When my mother was alive, we all gathered at her house and she would make dinner. There were 14 grandchildren. Even after my mother passed, it was a very nice day. My family and husband never forgot. I always received flowers. We would always stay in and I would make dinner. We never went out to eat or anything. It was more comfortable doing something at home.”

She said, “My family doesn’t forget Mother’s Day. It’s still a very special day. Everyone should celebrate.”

Her daughter, Dian Perkel, said, “When we were together, it was Mother’s Day to her every day.”

Perkel recalled, “On Mother’s Day we went to my grandparents, sharing the day with our extended family, enjoying their company and reliving past happenings. Eventually the celebration came to our house where mom enjoyed gifts and flowers, and no card was ever thrown out. What mattered to mom the most was the presence of my brothers and I. This joy only increased with the addition of a son-in-law, Larry, and a daughter-in-law, Valerie.”

The celebrations continue.

“The family tries to attend as many of the Stein functions as possible just as mom was there for us when we were growing up,” Perkel added. “Mother’s Day will always be a family day and filled with memories of years gone by.”

wilf-campus-mother-dayNettie Fine’s daughter Debbie Levy said that “Mother’s Day was always such a nice day to show appreciation and love to our wonderful mother.”

Levy, who lives in the nearby Renaissance Community, has suffered a number of losses — including her sister two years ago, and this past December her husband of 42 years. Through all that, she said, her mother, who moved to Stein from the Renaissance Community in Manchester one year ago, has been a beloved source of strength.

“We have been blessed with our ‘Nennie,’” she said. “What a sweet and kind optimistic strong lady – only small in stature, she is larger than life and loved by all of our family.”

Levy has wonderful memories of Mother’s Days gone by. “We always celebrated Mother’s Day at my house or my sister’s with our children, mom’s grandchildren Josh, Stacey and Michael, and great grandchildren Ari, Eli and Indy.”

The family lived in Hillside, and her father gloried in his wife and two girls, calling them his “Dolly Girls.” As other girls and women joined the family, they were all embraced under that loving label. And on Mother’s Day, they are all celebrated.

“Nennie” has been at the center of that, and still is.

“We showered mom with beautiful cards, flowers and gifts — and when my sister Marlene and I became moms, Nennie always had beautiful gifts for us,” she said. “The kids made cards and made gifts for Mom in school, and now the great grandkids do. My sister and I liked to buy Mom something special – a new handbag or great spring looking jewelry. We shopped together to find the perfect gift.”

Having her mother at Stein has been a comfort, Levy said. She and her sister came to see Stein Assisted Living, just before her sister suffered her heart attack, and both “knew it would be a perfect place for her. Mom will be 92 on June 13th and has such a great attitude. She is sooo happy at Stein with such a wonderful staff and having met such nice friends. She tells me that every day!”

For more information about The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living, visit, email [email protected] or call 732-568-1155.

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