January 8, 2019 // 11:14 AM
A Visit from the Tooth Fairy
Written by Scott Miller
At 7:35 one morning Gladys Ziegenfus was at the front desk talking with Megan. Gladys, who moved to Garden Spot Village in July 2010, gets up early every morning to start her day. She regularly stops by the computer station in Refresh to check her e-mails. If you’re in Village Square before 7:30 in the morning you could be the fortunate recipient of her cheery, “Good Morning!” An encounter with Gladys will start your day in a very good way.
I walked up and casually put my elbows on the counter beside her, commenting: “I heard you had a visit from the Tooth Fairy?” She beamed and told me the story.
The Saturday before her 90th birthday, she broke a tooth. (That’s right, her 90th birthday! If you meet her you’ll think she’s in her 70s.) Her daughter took her for an emergency visit to the dentist, who temporarily fixed the tooth. Gladys specifically asked the dentist for the tooth and on the way home asked her daughter if she thought she would get a visit from the Tooth Fairy for her 90th birthday. (As we learned when we were kids, the Tooth Fairy “just knows” when you put a tooth under your pillow.) Apparently, it doesn’t matter if you’re 9 or 90, the Tooth Fairy still knows.
The morning of her 90th birthday the nurse stopped in to make the bed and tidy up. Gladys was in another room when she called to her and said she found something under her pillow. To Gladys’s surprise, she discovered that the Tooth Fairy had visited! She hadn’t really expected the Tooth Fairy to show up when she joked with her daughter about it the day before. As it turns, out the Tooth Fairy steps it up a bit when you’re an adult. There was a crisp, clean $1 bill, an elaborate receipt and note in an envelope.
Gladys was so excited she sat down and wrote out all the events—the story of the broken tooth, the visit to the dentist and the visit by the Tooth Fairy. At her birthday party later that day she read the story aloud to a room full of people. It was a birthday to remember!
Life at Garden Spot Village embraces abundant opportunities to live with purpose in community. This story highlights the way in which members of the community recognized an opportunity and created an extraordinary experience—one that will be remembered and celebrated for years to come by residents, family, friends and staff.