Mary Foley remembers what her daughter said to her before she moved into The Woodlands at Furman. “She pleaded with me,” Mary says. “‘Mother, don’t do it! You’re going into a retirement community! Don’t do it! Come to Texas and live with us.’”
Mary also remembers what she told her daughter: “Shoot me first; I’m not living with my kids.”
A Sense of Community
Originally from Boston, Mary has been living in Greenville for nearly 40 years. She moved into The Woodlands last May after considering several other options. “There are plenty of nice places in Greenville, but there’s such a sense of community here,” Mary says. “The sense of community is what I like. People seem to care about one another. If you want to come out and participate, there are people here to do it with.”
Living Her Life
Mary has a big family: seven children and 20 grandchildren. “They’re all over the country, and they’re living their lives,” Mary says. “I came here at a great time so that I can live my life, too, and enjoy what I have here.”
And Mary does just that. Since Furman University is just outside her door, Mary takes advantage of all the opportunities that Furman provides, including continuing education classes through the OLLI program. At The Woodlands, she plays bridge and Rummikub with groups that meet throughout the week. In addition to walking the trails around campus, Mary also swims and exercises at the PAC Center several times a week.
Not one to sit still for long, Mary says she enjoys attending performances held at The Woodlands and taking trips into downtown Greenville to see shows at the Peace Center. “I’m busy,” Mary says. “You wouldn’t know you’re in a retirement community. There’s lots going on here, and every day seems to get better for me.” Mary says.
Summing It Up
Last July, the same daughter who pleaded with Mary not to move to The Woodlands came for a visit with her entire family. Mary’s daughter brought her husband, four kids, and their dog all the way from Texas and stayed in Mary’s residence for 12 days. They rode their bikes during the day, played games and swam at nearby pools. Everyone had a great time, Mary says.
Having now lived at The Woodlands for about eight months, Mary talks about her daughter’s current thoughts on the matter. “When she sent a Christmas card out to everybody, she said, ‘I was very worried about my mom going to a home. But it’s not a home, it’s a community.’”
“That sums it up for me,” Mary says.