“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
AutumnGrove Cottage could not have asked for a more strong, kind, caring and devoted woman as Marilynn, our Champions Cottage manager. Marilynn is the type of woman who won’t take no as an answer. She always has the drive to overcome the impossible and that is quite amazing for her 4’10’’ frame. The Shakespeare quote could not be any more fitting for a woman like Marilynn, who despite her small stature, would move a mountain for her residents and caregivers.
Marilynn has a rare passion for helping others, especially those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, that can be seen through her every action at the cottage. To start with, Marilynn used to be, and still is, an interior designer. The Champions Cottage is always decorated according to the current season or holiday and looks like it could be featured on the cover of Better Homes and Garden. Marilynn applies even the smallest and most caring touch in her decorations. For instance, during Christmas time, she made each resident and caregiver a stocking with their name on it in that person’s favorite color. She never misses an opportunity to present her residents or caregivers with a little gift, whether it is for their birthday, anniversary or just because. She wants to do nothing more than to welcome her residents as part of the AutumnGrove family. She creates a welcoming and warm atmosphere at the cottage that makes it hard for anyone who visits not to want to live there. Her attention to detail and her natural ability to turn an empty space into a warm one, that can make the most uncomfortable feel right at home, has deservedly earned her the unofficial title as company decorator. Marilynn courageously took on the task of buying all of the furniture and decorations for our first San Antonio Cottage. Her ability to visualize every detail of an unbuilt cottage and purchase everything from dining chairs, couch cushions, 16 differently themed bedrooms to perfectly fitting antique knick knacks made a brand new building feel like a home that had been lived and loved in for many years.
Not only does Marilynn foster a loving cottage atmosphere for her residents and caregivers, she also creates a small family. She takes the time to always talk to each family member that walks through the cottage door to see how things are going in their lives. Many family members consider the Champions Cottage their “home away from home” and will visit for hours each day. Each person is treated with the same kindness and attention no matter their relation to AutumnGrove. The caregivers receive that same kindness on a day-to-day basis. Marilynn and her caregivers have become the best of friends over the years. They can be heard joking and laughing with each other all throughout the cottage. It is amazing to watch the Champions Cottage staff work together as a family to care for and love all of the wonderful residents that live there.
It is uncommon to find someone who puts everyone else before themselves like Marilynn does. She never ceases to find new ways to go above and beyond caring for her residents. This amazing woman is, like Shakespeare said, FIERCE. She is full of fierce passion in caring for the world. Marilynn, AutumnGrove thanks you for your natural ability to create a family among people who share the love of caring for others.