When Laura Piatkowski moved into long-term care at The Village of Erin Meadows in early 2018, her husband Henry began counting the days to the opening of the attached retirement neighbourhoods under construction at the time.
Henry sold their house in Brampton that June and stayed with one of their daughters not far from the Village, riding the Mississauga bus down Winston Churchill Boulevard nearly every day to be alongside his beloved wife. After 52 years of marriage, Henry says, this was the only way it should be.
When the ribbon was cut on Feb. 25 to officially mark the addition of 277 new retirement suites offering a full continuum of care at Erin Meadows, Henry was among the first new residents at front and centre with Laura at his side. Their commute to be together now is a mere elevator ride and a stroll down Main Street, and they’re often seen there together, a broad smile upon Laura’s face under her wide-brimmed hat and a look of contentedness upon her husband’s face.
They raised five children who managed to stay close throughout their adult lives, and Laura and Henry are proud of this accomplishment. “None of them ended up in jail and they’re all educated,” Laura says with a wide smile, “so we must’ve done something right.” It’s clear when they speak of their children that they know the meaning of family, and as they look around the Village’s bright town square from their seats at the café table, it seems a tight-knit village environment suits them.
Their entire family will fit in well here.
“The fact that we can be close together,” is the biggest benefit Henry sees. He likes his suite and is excited at the prospect of the people he’ll meet, but nothing is better than sharing space and time with the woman he’s loved for more than half a century. “I want to be close so that whatever time we may have left we can spend together,” he says.
He reaches over the table, strokes the top of Laura’s hand and she smiles.
They continue to share stories from the past about life begun at an inter-city Polish youth dance where a girl from St. Catharines caught the eye of a boy from Toronto. Decades later they sit in a Village in Mississauga, content in each other’s company, and the village feels just a little more confortable for it.
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