Stories of Our Elderly

Stories of Our Elderly

We met Commrny at age 90, praising and blessing everyone in the nursing home. Loved and known by everyone on her floor and in the building, Commrny’s life and love illuminated the room. Even in the depths of the sad, grey walls of the nursing home, she brought life.

Less than one year later, Commrny left the nursing home and returned to her apartment in Harlem where she lived for another 10 years when she died in her sleep at the age of 103.

Commrny was the daughter of former slaves, born on a sharecropper farm in Mississippi. She shared stories of picking cotton through her childhood until coming up to New York when she was 18. On the day Obama was elected, Commrny decorated her entire apartment with pictures of him. Her comment to his election: “It was just about time!” She worked as a nurse for more than fifty years until she retired and was active during the civil rights movement. She was a former Baptist singer and preacher and never missed an opportunity to sing or bless those around her. She was known by the whole neighborhood and, living on the first floor, would always keep her door open and talk to all of those who passed by. You were sure to never miss her.

Commrny taught us all about our history – that which was hers, but that which we all share – about faith, love, and perseverance.

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