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Resilience After 75 Years

By Christina Nolan

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Rachel to the Compass community. Rachel, a resilient woman of 75 years, resides in a charming apartment situated in the picturesque Japantown of San Jose. A true native of the Bay Area, she was both born and raised in San Jose, attending local Catholic schools for both elementary and high education. Throughout her upbringing, Rachel shared precious moments with her paternal grandmother and sister, bonding over their shared love for radio tunes, Beatles melodies, and the beloved show, Dr. Kildare. Their enthusiasm was so profound that they penned a letter to the lead actor, resulting in an autographed headshot that left Rachel overjoyed.

Life Took a Turn

At the age of 13, Rachel’s life took a turn when seizures entered the picture. Her parents embarked on a journey of seeking suitable treatment, consulting various physicians and even visiting Stanford hospital to explore potential options. In her early twenties, Rachel found herself residing at Porterville State Hospital for a period of approximately six years. Following that chapter, she transitioned through different boarding homes. In her 30s and 40s, she began working at Hope Services and cherished weekends spent knitting, singing karaoke, and enjoying family dinners at her parental home.

Deep Family Bonds

Rachel shares a deep bond with her four siblings – Robert, Richard, Greg, and Chris. Whether it’s through family gatherings or supporting her brother’s local band performances, she values these connections dearly. Among her cherished memories, a standout is a trip taken about a decade ago to Las Vegas with her siblings to witness her favorite artist, Celine Dion, in concert. Memorabilia from that day, including a concert shirt, cup, and poster, still hold a special place in her heart.

Unwavering Spirit

In her present days, Rachel finds joy in Hallmark movies and any film with a heartwarming love narrative. Dining out at the Olive Garden is a particular delight, as evidenced by her recent 75th birthday celebration at the same venue, where she was reunited with cherished elementary school friends. Despite encountering some challenges related to aging, Rachel actively seeks ways to step out of her abode – be it for shopping or exercise. Her determination to stay active is evident in her walks along the hallway of her fifth-floor apartment, allowing her to relish the breathtaking views. With an unwavering spirit, she aspires to regain her strength and maintain her mobility.

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