On any given day, you’ll find a long list of activities taking place at Arborstone Enhanced Care in Halifax, NS, but on Friday, July 21, there was only one event everyone was looking forward to with excitement: Darlene and Joey’s wedding.
Darlene says she wasn’t looking for love when she moved into the Arborstone Enhanced Care community in 2013. Twice married before, she was settling into her new home and adjusting to living with a disability after a stroke. When Joey moved in a few years later, the pair fell into an easy friendship, and 12 months after that, they were inseparable.
“He’s my smile in the morning and my smile at night,” Darlene shared.
“First thing I do – as soon as I get up in the morning is give Darlene a kiss. Then I get my things together,” Joey said, echoing her sentiment.
On their wedding day, the community was a hive of activity, residents and team members were actively involved in the planning and ceremony.
“This is our residents’ home – it’s their neighbourhood, their community. It’s where they create memories and lasting friendships,” said General Manager Michelle Clark. “It’s important that we create a safe space for them to live well.”
Community Managers Rebecca Clarke and Melanie Yetman spearheaded the wedding planning, and the management team gathered with Darlene and her friends to create the bridal bouquet, centrepieces, and favours tied with ribbons of pink and black.
There were few dry eyes when the bride glided down the aisle in a wedding dress donated by Michelle while Music Therapist Erik Skinner sang the brides’ favourite song, “Keeper of the Stars.”
Aborstone Hospitality Manager Derek Botma was Joey’s best man, while Sasha Brooks and Kayleena Wills, Darlene’s favourite Continuing Care Assistants, were her attendants.
“I was the maid of honour and I took it very seriously,” Sasha said.
Later, Skinner sang a duet with Community Manager Gabby Gaspar as the coupled began their life together as husband and wife.
“We’re really happy here at Arborstone. They treat us so well; we’re all a family,” said Joey. “And now, we’re looking forward to just spending the rest of our lives together.”
Note: A tremendous amount of consideration and care went into Joey and Darlene’s special day. While not mentioned in the story, there were many other Arborstone team members and residents who played a direct role in the wedding, including: Katie Jessome, the officiant; resident Terri R., poem reader; Erin Davison, wedding cake; and Dawn Priest, Adrienne Butler and Selena Parent who prepared and served refreshments.