Carman Meyer retired a decade ago, but every week she’s back at her former workplace in Belle Plaine. She didn’t want to leave Eunice. The pair met when Eunice moved to The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine with her dad in 1977.
“When Eunice’s dad died, she was so down and out. She had no family, and I kind of adopted her,” said Carman, who was a beautician at The Lutheran Home for more than 30 years.
Now Carman comes to The Lutheran Home four days a week. She leads Bingo on Mondays and meets Eunice on the weekends for doughnuts and a visit. Carman has always loved older adults, and is happy to hand out beverages at a party for residents or help steer a wheelchair in the right direction.
In her 80s, Eunice is a fixture at The Lutheran Home. She’s often spotted in the lobby greeting passersby, yarn in hand as she works on canvas art.
For each season, Eunice stitches a corresponding work of art that hangs in the lobby. Carman usually buys the patterns and cuts them out. When Carman’s husband had an extended stay in the hospital last year, team members at The Lutheran Home stepped in to help keep Eunice sewing.
On a recent afternoon, Eunice stitched away on a trio of Valentine’s hearts, her hair carefully curled by Carman’s hand earlier that day. Carman sat chatting with her — and nearly everyone who walked by — and ribbing Eunice a bit, as families do.
"The love between Carman and Eunice, this special bond they’ve maintained over the years, is an inspiration for all of us at The Lutheran Home," said Heidi Barber, the Director of Nursing.
Carman originally started at The Lutheran Home filling in after the regular beautician broke her leg. That six-week job turned into 30 years and six months, and included bringing her young daughter Molly to work many days. Residents loved to get their hair done, and the schedule was flexible for the new mom.
When Carman first befriended Eunice — and lived only three blocks from The Lutheran Home — the pair would go on outings or Carman would bring Eunice to her house for a visit. Carman retired, took up golf and does more traveling, but she’s never far.
“If they need me at The Lutheran Home, they call me,” Carman said. “Eunice is so special to me, and I just love the people there.”
Share the love! You can bring joy to our residents by volunteering. Find out how.