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Legacy and Family Connection

Everyday we are actively creating our legacy. Throughout life we experience various milestones that contribute to who we are today. Village Park Senior Living resident, Rose Marie Mandato shared stories about her life and gave advice on how to continue fulfilling your purpose through family. She suggests that families communicate and stay connected.

Rose Marie emphasizes the importance of staying connected with loved ones. She describes an analogy her late husband, Nick, would often use. She says he compared their family to fingers. Together, the fingers form a hand that is strong and efficient, but when they are separated the fingers become weak. 

It’s important to stay involved with your family. Healthy family dynamics can be maintained by simply listening to one another and by sharing mutual respect. A heartfelt phone call or letter are personal and can be a great way to stay in touch with loved ones.

Maintaining relationships are pertinent to having a healthy lifestyle. However, as a natural part of life, our mortality is temporary. It is difficult to lose a loved one. Rose Marie shared her experience on what helps her cope with the passing of her husband.

“I have a wonderful time during the day,” Rose Marie said. “I come home at night and I sit, and I sometimes cry my eyes out, but I do let it out.” 

Rose Marie also writes her thoughts and experiences in journals.  Although it is encouraged to spend time with others throughout the day, it is also okay to have alone time and sort through your feelings. Several studies suggest it is healthier to embrace what you are feeling instead of masking your emotions. This helps support positive mental health.

In our alone time and through activities like journaling, we can gain a better understanding of our emotions and possibly a change in perspective. It takes time, growth and empathy to develop shifts in perspective. As we take the time to reflect on our individual situations, we can often find a silver lining.

On the day of her husband’s funeral, Rose Marie’s family took a picture together. Although the photo was captured on a sad day, it is one of her favorite pictures. She explains why this particular photo brings her happiness.

 “I had my whole family there.”

In the photo, Rose Marie is surrounded by more than 50 family members. Everybody is smiling and happy to be together. The large family is part of Rose Marie and Nick’s legacy. 

Everybody deserves to stay connected with their loved ones. Sustaining relationships and open communication with close friends and family members can help people get through the toughest days.

At Village Park Senior Living, we cherish the advice and stories of residents like Rose Marie. We encourage fellowship throughout our community with various support groups, coffee hours and events. You can hear more about Rose Marie’s story, by clicking here. We also encourage you to discover more about our communities by emailing us at We look forward to hearing from you.