Resident Stories

We are blessed to be caring for and supporting the greatest generation of American pioneers and heroes. Please enjoy the resident stories we have below and then reach out to us to schedule a personal tour of our award-winning community.

Anne King - Graceful Steps

There’s a certain understated grace that radiates off Anne King, a seven-year resident of The Trace in Covington, Louisiana. It’s reflected in the way she answers questions, the way she handles the frustrations of fellow residents, and the way she is able to express incredible objectiveness about the gratitudes of her life. Spent 15 minutes on the phone with this 87-year-old Louisiana native and you’d never guess that she wears two hearing aids and is legally blind.

“I’m legally blind, but I have some limited vision,” the 87-year-old King says. “People that know me here don’t think I have a sight problem because I use the walls and the bars to manipulate my way to where I need to go.”

She has taken the loss of her sight and hearing in stride, because she had it when she needed it most.

King moved into The Trace with her husband in 2010 when he was suffering badly from Parkinson’s disease.

“When we moved here, I was fine, and God blessed me with sight and hearing to take care of my husband,” she reflects. “He was wheelchair bound and I walked him twice a day in the parking lot because it was safer than the street.”

She admits she didn’t initially like living at The Trace because her health was intact while her husband took too it more naturally. That opinion changed dramatically over time.

“I didn’t want to be here at first, I wanted to do my gardening and my cooking,” she says. “That faded away as  I went down physically. I’m very comfortable here now.”

King is able to see the give-and-take of the world more easily than most.

“When I hear complaints, I try to calm down the person doing the complaining,” she says. “I tell them, I don’t have to plan meals, serve them, or clean up after them here. I just have to come, be patient, sit down, and be served this wonderful food - that’s a great blessing.”

A native of New Orleans, King lived in the Crescent City until she was 22 when she and her husband moved to San Francisco as part of his military service. The pair returned home and moved around the state before buying their dream home in Kenner where they lived for 37 years.

From there it was on to Covington’s Crestwood Estates, during which time the now-retired Kings started giving back to their community whenever possible.

“We did youth ministry at St. Tammany Parish Hospital up the hill from us,” she says. “We would do ministry with the patients on Thursday mornings and volunteer the rest of the afternoon. My husband was an escort pushing wheelchairs, and I worked in the gift shop for more than 11 years.”

The irony that her husband pushed wheelchairs for years the ended up in one is not lost on King, nor is the fact that she was once caring for others, only to now be the one being cared for.

“My husband was giving that blessing to others for years, and then I was able to give it to him,” she says. “We built many wonderful friendships and were blessed with the opportunity to bring comfort and companionship and fellowship to the patients. And now I’m being rewarded with that same blessing here.”

 

 

 

 
Margaret Claiborne - Smile Through The Pain

 

Margaret Claiborne is 88 years old. Her eyesight is diminishing. Her back is broken in three places that can’t be repaired, and she can’t take painkillers for it because it interferes with another medication she needs.

So what does she say when people ask her if she’s happy living at The Trace in Covington, Louisiana?

“I tell them I’m happy; of course, I’m happy, I’m alive!” she says with a big laugh. “There are so many people who are worse off than me, that are in constant pain. I just laugh it off and say, ‘Oh well, it’s a part of life; maybe God will be merciful on me. No one believes I have the problems I do because I’m a happy person.”

Born and raised in New Orleans, Claiborne has been a sailor, a teacher, the manager of a law firm, and the wife of a man with some of the deepest ties to the roots of all things Louisiana.

Her husband, Charles Claiborne, as the great-great grandson of the first governor of Louisiana, William C. C. Claiborne.Charles’s first cousin is Elizabeth Claiborne, the American fashion mogul.

Despite the famous connections, Margaret was a lot more impressed with Charles her husband rather than the Claiborne name.

“I remember being at a cocktail party, the first one we went to as a married couple and someone slid up and said to me, ‘Are you one of THE Claibornes?” she recalls. “I said, ‘I’m sorry you have the wrong one, I married one.’ And I pointed out my husband. Later on that evening he said, ‘ Why in the world did you sick that woman on me, she wouldn’t leave me alone!’”

Margaret learned to love sailing with her first husband, who was an Olympic-caliber competitor in the sport.

“We sailed all over the US and Europe,” she said. “If two people spit in a hole and it had enough water in it, we would sail it.”

After graduating high school, Claiborne went to Chicago for college, remarking that while getting a teacher’s degree, her favorite thing about the experience was “those Notre Dame boys.”

She went on to teach mostly in private Catholic high schools in New Orleans throughout the 1950s.

After a long tour of Europe, she came home and worked with mentally-challenged children. She got burned out on it after a time and went to manage a dress store, but found herself missing the interactions with the kids, and she re-entered the teaching field.

“I couldn’t be away from the children for too long,” she remembers. I love children and I love people.”

Charles Claiborne died of cancer in 1984. Margaret went on working as the manager of a law firm before retiring at 75, then found herself with disturbingly little to do.

“I sat around for two years, not knowing what to do with myself,” she says. “I started exercising and got into fitness and loved it, it became a passion. But just recently when my eyesight started to go, I made the decision to put myself into The Trace.”

While other senior citizens often go unwillingly into senior care, it has never been a concern for Claiborne.

“It’s a great place to be, and I love the people and the staff,” she says. “As long as I’m here, I’m going to smile and be happy and say thank you and no thank you and I appreciate it.”