A Journey with My Mother


Amy Adams, Hospice Savannah certified music therapist; Neldra Flint; Author Jackie Tomlin; and their mother, Ms. Nellie Pierson.
Amy Adams, Hospice Savannah certified music therapist; Neldra Flint; Author Jackie Tomlin; and their mother, Ms. Nellie Pierson.

I grew up in a loving home where I was nurtured, encouraged to achieve, and taught the value of giving back to my community. My father, Emmet Pierson, died in his 40’s. My mother, Nellie Pierson, became a female head of household. Mom was born in Smith Station, Alabama and grew up in Columbus, Georgia. When she married my father and I was born, we moved from Columbus, Georgia to Kansas City, and she brought that wonderful southern culture with her. My sister, Neldra Flint, and I had a wonderful childhood.

My sister was the first to marry and had the first grandchild, Edward. I have two children, Jason and Stefanie. Growing up, our children spent the summers at my mom’s. Her house was the gathering spot for all of the kids in the neighborhood. My mother always had a vegetable garden and beau -tiful flowers. Our kids grew up picking tomatoes, cabbage and collard greens. God gave us these beautiful memories to store up for the devastation of my mother’s bout with Bell’s palsy, a series of TIAs, a stroke and Parkinson disease symptoms. The stroke changed all of our lives.

We sold my mother’s beloved home and moved her into my home where I became her primary caregiver. My husband was a help to me, but he died suddenly in 2010 of a heart attack.

God lead us to Hospice Savannah. The care has been phenomenal from the very beginning! The certified nursing assistant, Pat, gives my mom her bath, Monday through Friday. My mother is 88 years old and is not always agreeable. My mother also has a Senior Companion volunteer who comes out four days a week for five hours each day. Her name is Liz too. She reads to my mom, does light housework for her including folding her clothes and takes care of her while we run errands, get away for a short period to enjoy the beach, go to a meeting, or enjoy some “me” time.

Amy the Certified Music Therapist plays the guitar while my mom sings and shakes the tambourine. Hospice Savannah also provides a Certified Massage Therapist for my mom. At 63, I have not forgotten the foundation that my mother laid for me to give back our blessings. I know that my mother is slipping away from me, but Hospice Savannah has helped to make her quality of life better and richer.

And this is why I have agreed to serve as the Honorary Volunteer Chairperson for the 3rd Annual “Summer Night” fundraiser for Hospice Savannah. Summer Night will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2012. This year our goal is to have 50 homes hosting a party for guests committed to “Celebrating Life”, and donating needed funds to Hospice Savannah. We will kick off the evening at Perch, the rooftop lounge of Local 11 Ten restaurant. I will be hosting a dinner party at my home. If you can join me be becoming a Home Host or Co-Host, contact Summer Roberson, Hospice Savannah’s Annual Giving Specialist at 912.629.1027.


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