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Fate Brings Cousins Back Together at Silveridge

When moving to a new home, one is always hopeful to see a familiar face or get to know new neighbors. For Delores Ahrenholtz and Marilyn Neddermeyer, this was no different when life’s path led each of them to Silveridge Assisted Living. Little did they know it would lead them back to each other.

Delores and Marilyn both grew up in the Ricketts area. Delores, born in 1930, and Marilyn not too far behind in 1932 spent much of their memorable childhood together, their mothers being sisters, even sharing the roles of ‘flower girls’ in Marilyn’s older sister’s wedding. Their families would gather often, and the girls would each spend an entire week at each other’s homes every summer. Delores and Marilyn recall how their homes were very different, specifically one having electricity and the other not until 1942, yet they each enjoyed the others equally.

Their family’s trades brought them to the town of Ricketts every Saturday where they would sell their eggs and cream and get gasoline for the family car. The girls would walk the town streets to see friends and routinely stop for ice cream bars at Moltman’s. Delores recalls smiling, “If you happened to be lucky enough to end up with the pink ice cream bar, the second one was free.” They would also catch an occasional outdoor movie or stop at the town café.

They were simple times, but happy times.

Delores attended school at the Morgan Township #4, eventually graduating from Charter Oak High School with the class of 1948. Marilyn attended school with the Soldier Township #3 followed by parochial school and ultimately finished her education in Schleswig after her family moved there graduating with the class of 1950.

The cousins remained friends throughout their adult years, eventually marrying and having families of their own. The ladies share they were there for each other through the good times and the harder times, making efforts to still get together for the occasional gathering or friendly game of Euchre.

As the years passed and their children grew and had children of their own, life created space between the cousins as it often does. The time periods between reconnecting grew with each passing year. That is until their own separate journeys eventually led each of them to Silveridge Assisted Living, neither realizing their paths would cross. Much to their surprise, fate would have them moving in directly across the hall from each other, reuniting them after all this time. “Who would have thought after all these years that we’d be right next door to each other?” Marilyn warmly questions. We all can’t help but agree.

Nowadays their time is often spent revisiting their lifetime of memories, making new ones with new friends, and of course still sharing an occasional ice cream bar. For me as the writer and person who is privileged enough to listen to and share their story and others like it, I can’t help but look at these two photos separated by 85 years of life and be so thankful their journeys led them both to Silveridge and back to each other.

By Kara Webb, RN, Director of Assisted Living

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