Lessons on life from Dorothy Mann

Dorothy Mann, celebrated as The Daily World’s “Citizen Of The Year” years ago here on the Harbor, was also celebrated when she turned 100.

Dorothy has been in the Pacific Care Center for more than two weeks now, not because of any real nursing home needs, but to utilize their therapy skills to get strength back in her legs.

Believe this or not, Dorothy took her usual bath one night, let out the water, and could not find the strength in her legs to push herself out of the tub. She had done everything right, she had the handles installed, but she could not reach them that night. For 36 hours she sat in her bathtub all the time trying to get out. She has three people who check on her every night, but there were emergencies in all three families that night.

The next day a cousin called three times to see if Dorothy needed a ride somewhere, and when there was no answer on the fourth try, she ran over knowing something had to be wrong. The ambulance came and Dorothy was transferred to the hospital for a few days and then to Pacific Care Center to get her strength back.

On Monday, her 102nd birthday was celebrated at Pacific Care Center. The dining room set up for the birthday party was packed from 2-4 p.m. She received many bouquets of flowers and bags of gifts.

As I tucked Dorothy in to bed (she does not allow you to call her Mrs. Mann,) she received her final phone call to end her day with a devotion from another one of her dear friends. I listened to her tell her friend about her day, and I ended up crying. Why? Because Dorothy has a lesson we all need to learn. She talked about every tiny detail of her day, down to what every bouquet looked like. She appreciates the smallest, the tiniest details in her life, and gives the word, “cherish” another meaning for the rest of us. Along with that I could add “grateful.” Dorothy is grateful for everything in her life, down to the brick of cheese brought over to her every Wednesday. She says “Thank You” a million times before her day is over.

She learned a lesson from a friend a long time ago when she asked the friend why she never complained about anything. Her friend told Dorothy that everyone has troubles of their own, they do not need to hear yours. I also liked that and will make it my new motto.

So, Dorothy’s day was successful, it couldn’t have been any other way. She wouldn’t have allowed it. Dorothy, my longest and dearest friend in the whole world. I love you Dorothy.

She will be returning home soon as if nothing happened. Her attitude is beyond comprehension. She is the most amazing person I happen to know.

Here’s to you Dorothy from your “adopted daughter.”

Joan Bausher