We know May is all about moms, but at Thrive, we celebrate mom year-round. Here, your mom can be whoever she wants to be because our communities make sure she can thrive and shine in the way she deserves!
In honor of this special day, we wanted to recognize an outstanding mother who happens to live at our Columbus, Georgia, community, Thrive at Green Island. Bea Watts is a one-of-a-kind woman, and we were fortunate enough to have a one-on-one interview with her son Mitch to find out just how special his mom is and his experience choosing Thrive as her perfect home.
Thrive: Hey, Mitch!
Mitch: Hi! My mother would actually take umbrage to anyone calling me Mitch. She would say, ‘I named him Mitchell, and that’s his name.’ Even though I’ve been Mitch for my entire adult life.
Thrive: Ha-ha, that’s great! We love that. When you imagine your mom, can you think of any similarities between you two?
Mitch: You know what… I’ve never actually thought about that before! But I will say that my mother is an extremely positive person. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and even in the midst of that, she has remained enthusiastic and positive about life. I’m a very positive person as well, and I think that is one of the greatest gifts she’s given me.
Thrive: That’s so sweet. Are there any particular memories from your childhood that are special between you and your mom?
Mitch: You know, Mom always made sure that the family did things together. She was always there for me and my brother David. We did a lot of camping, and she was the planner for all of that. She also made the world’s best fried chicken and made sure we shared that together. She was always the linchpin for my family.
Thrive: We could totally see that. We know your dad is a resident at Thrive along with your mom – so, tell us the story of how your parents met.
Mitch: Well, it depends on which one of them you ask! But my daddy went into the Navy during WWII, and after the war, he went to work for the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. That’s where they met. He told me the story that they started dating but weren’t too serious yet, and when they were in the car one day, mom told him that she was going to escort a soldier from her church to a veteran’s event, so Daddy pulled over right there and pulled out an engagement ring he already had and proposed to her then and there.
Thrive: Wow! What a great story! We love that and them. Thinking about Mother’s Day this year, what are some of the things you admire most about your mom?
Mitch: I think Mom always puts other people’s happiness above her own. She’s always done that! But even during this stage of her life, during the pandemic and everything, she is just so happy. She finds the beauty in everything. She’s made the decision to be happy and is actually the most happy when other people are as well – and that’s just a neat gift if you ask me.
Thrive: We couldn’t agree more! So a lot of people can relate to parents dealing with dementia, and it would be really valuable if you could take us through the journey of how you dealt with finding housing and care for your mother as she was going through everything.
Mitch: Sure. So, my friend and Pastor made the point to me that when people walk this road and make the decision to do this, they usually realize that they probably should have done it a year or two sooner – and my brother and I have found that to be the case with us.
We initially moved Mom and Dad into an assisted living facility in the Atlanta area. And as great as those people were, as our parents’ cognitive abilities began to decline, we realized that the facility they were in just wasn’t as equipped to deal with memory care as Mom and Dad needed.
So, we started looking to make a change and decided on Thrive for a couple of reasons. A friend of mine moved his mother into Thrive, and he said that the staff just had the skill set and, quite frankly, the love and care to make the transition as good as it could possibly be. And then, I met Bryan, who runs the location here in Columbus. He is just all-in when it comes to eldercare! He’s knowledgeable, he loves his folks, and he sets high expectations for his team members. When we finally saw the place, it was just beautiful and clean and really perfect for my parents. You know… trust isn’t an easy thing to give, and I just really trust the folks at Thrive.
Thrive: That’s so great to hear, Mitch! That’s what we strive for each and every day – to build trusting and loving relationships with our residents and their families. We’re so glad that you and your parents are thriving with us! As we wrap this interview up, if there was one thing you want to thank your mom for this Mother’s Day, what would it be?
Mitch: You’re trying to get me choked up here, ha-ha! But you know, if there was one thing I want to thank my mom for, it would have to be… just being my mom. I can’t think of a single thing I would change. When she fussed, you can believe I deserved it! When she taught me how to drive and would yell at me to slow down, you can believe I deserved it! It’s challenging to think of just one thing, so I guess it would just have to be thank you for being Mitchell Watts’ mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there from us at Thrive!
At Thrive Senior Living, no matter if you are looking for independent living, assisted living or memory care – making sure that all residents are abundantly healthy, happy, and safe is our priority each and every single day. Does this blog have you ready to Thrive? Click here to start your adventure with us… because you deserve it!