Mother of the Year Contest

Congratulations Jean Dailey!

We are delighted to announce the winner of our Mother of the Year Contest!

Thanks to all who participated in this event. We want to honor each and every mom, both our residents, and beyond – motherhood is a special blessing, and our lives are enriched by the love and compassion moms bring to our world.

This year honors go to Jean Dailey, a resident at Inspired Living Tampa!

Jean will receive $1,000 off of her June rent and a bouquet of flowers. Her daughter Nanette nominated her by sending in the following:

“I would like to nominate my Mother Jean Dailey as Inspired Living’s 2021 Mother of the Year. Mom turns 97 years young on June 1st. She is an amazingly strong-willed and determined mother who always loves and puts her family first even when she is suffering. She grew up with tragedy in her life but in spite of it kept a level head and persevered to become an RN and raise a family. My mother grew up in poverty and lost her father at a very young age and had to live with her stern Grandfather who often said, “children should be seen and not heard”. She suffered from illnesses and accidents all her life and has basically become a whole-hearted but broken person with many refurbished parts.

But she doesn’t really complain to me, and if she sees me sad or not feeling well, she will forget that she can’t really remember things that were once commonplace like doing her own grocery shopping, laundry, driving to the Library, and living on her own doing pretty well up until the age of 94. But now she can’t remember that she can’t walk or care for herself very well anymore, but she will still want to get up and get moving to care for me or help someone else less fortunate than her when she sees them struggling.

My mother raised my two brothers and myself with a loving caring husband, my father Paul who she selflessly took care of when he became ill until his death almost 17 years ago. They were married just shy of 50 years and I feel blessed to have seen them stay together through good times and bad. They were always sacrificing for their children and grandchildren. I love my Mom dearly. I convinced her to move to Florida in 2005 shortly after my father’s death (she and a good friend Dotty at the age of 80 drove by themselves all the way from Toledo, Ohio to Tampa so could see the sites).

My Mom became my best friend as well as an incredible Grandmother to my children Ben and Maddee, whom I had been struggling to raise as a single parent. She was there to lift me up and them when we had our difficult times. I would often find her in my yard when I came home from work pulling up weeds or doing our laundry because that is her love language, doing things for people. She was always sending Birthday cards with cash or well wishes to everyone because she really cared about people even though she was quiet and to herself private, never letting anyone know if she was lonely or sad or mad or even if no one wrote to her or wished her well she continued. She was always there for us and would sacrifice her needs for ours. I will see that resilience in her in spite of her increasing struggles with her short-term memory, and her inability to move in her life as before.

This last year has been the hardest in my life as I am her only daughter and the closest family member nearby. The roles suddenly reversed, and I became the Mother when she would continue to fall again and again with the last fall causing a broken hip that required three surgeries in less than five months. I almost lost her after the second one. She was very dependent on me and I could see that would trouble her so I would pray with her and I know it was a comfort. But I think my mother was determined to survive all of it because she knows I still need her, again she is my Mom, but she is still my best friend.

Mom can be stubborn and challenging too (it comes from that tenacity of a German/Irish upbringing ), like when I recently took her to dinner she still insisted on paying the check forgetting that she hasn’t carried her wallet or purse with her in over a year. I see her grow much weaker and weary, but she still smiles and continues to lift me up when she says, “Oh Nan stop being so silly I can do it myself”. So, I hope you will consider her for this nomination, she has never been one for attention. Actually, I don’t think she has won an award in her whole life. But no matter I know I am much luckier than most to still have my Mom. Every day is a reward for me, every moment precious when she still remembers me.”

-Nanette Dailey

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