As we reflect on the blessings of this holiday season, we want to thank you for allowing us to share the story and some of the most memorable quotes of Anne, who came to live at The Village at Marymount in February of 2018 …
“I love The Village at Marymount because I couldn’t be a Nun, but at least I could live with them for the rest of my life.”
Anne was a wonderful, hard-working and loving Catholic woman, mother and wife. From Hungarian descent, Anne was born in Croatia in August of 1925 and her life was filled with many hardships and challenges. Early in life, Anne shared her dream with her parents to take a vow and become a Nun, but just like so many others, Anne’s journey led her down a different path and she would eventually meet and marry John, her husband of over 70 years.
“My hallway became my street…where I would begin calling it home.”
John and Anne defected from home and spent several years in various refugee camps in Europe and eventually made their way across the Pond to Cleveland, Ohio because their U.S. sponsor was from the area. Once settled in Cleveland, Anne had to start all over again, making a career as a seamstress while raising three beautiful children.
As their children grew and began their own lives, John and Anne found solace vacationing in Florida and enjoying one another’s company. Anne took pleasure in crocheting booties, sewing clothes, gardening and perfecting her famous cherry strudel which would become a family favorite. John and Anne moved to the city of Medina in order to be closer to her daughter who would assist with their medical needs. John peacefully passed from complications due to dementia in 2015.
To her daughter: “There isn’t a better place. You need to reserve your room (on the list) so you have a place when you need it.”
The lessons learned from her earlier experiences in life soon became apparent to Anne as she found herself diagnosed with double lung cancer, heart disease and AFIB and could no longer live on her own or in the sole care of her children. Her conditions quickly escalated and was admitted to Clare Hall in our hospice wing with the bleak prognosis of one week to live. Anne’s faith led her to the campus of The Village at Marymount where she wanted to be at a place with a Catholic-based mission and that bared a cross on campus. Beyond exceptional clinical care, she needed a place that nurtured her emotional and spiritual needs as well – where Sisters prayed and spoke with her as a lifelong friend.
“This is a holy place. It has crosses, rosaries, statues and its own Shrine and a courtyard where I pick flowers and leaves from the Linden Trees to make tea.”
Initially, Anne struggled in her new environment – especially as a strong, independent woman who rarely relied on others for her self-care. Anne’s daughter would later tell us of the panic attacks her mother would experience. However, resident Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis would join Anne in prayer and conversation, and the panic attacks quickly turned to friendships and comfort. Sisters Mary Peter and Liguori prayed with Anne multiple times a day and attended Mass together for emotional support and spiritual strength. Anne would call them her “Sister-Sisters” as a means of closeness, comfort and love. Anne soon began to regain strength through prayer and clinical care. Our caregivers and volunteers provided a holistic approach, ensuring her clinical, emotional and spiritual needs were met. The Sisters made certain she had three meals a day and made praying the rosary a daily habit between friends. Soon, her one-week prognosis was long behind her as Anne was in great spirits and doing well physically, mentally and spiritually. She came to love The Village and did not want to leave. Anne became “Faith-Filled” as her daughter described. Four months after her admission, Anne was able to carry flowers for our May Crowning Ceremony – a celebration of devotion to The Blessed Virgin Mary during the month of May. In an unprecedented moment for any person in her condition and age, Anne would move from hospice to our assisted living community, Marymount Place. She was able to breathe without additional oxygen and became mobile with little assistance. Anne resumed her knitting hobby – one our medical staff would help keep her well-supplied. Our team got her involved in exercise, arts & crafts, family holiday dinners and Mother’s Day tea.
“The Village staff is so caring and respect me so much. My friends are all here.”
Two and a half years after her initial one-week-to-live prognosis, Anne Saliga passed peacefully at Marymount Place on July 7, 2020. She and her family give heaps of gratitude to the people at The Village at Marymount – medical staff, religious and fellow residents for making her time here one of hope, faith and spiritual healing which all had a profound impact on her recovery. Anne was and continues to be an inspiration to many who are reluctant to try an assisted-living environment. Like the Sisters who comforted Anne and made her feel welcome in her new home, our team believes in living our Mission and in nurturing our relationship with God – this is what is means to be Franciscan. We unite by providing a service that families alone cannot – by turning to God, trusting his guidance and taking a holistic approach to healing. This is what makes our Village special and unique. This year has been especially difficult with the restrictions and spread brought to us by COVID-19. In the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis, we continue to provide compassionate care and value each resident’s life with intentional perpetuation in everything we do. Similar to how Anne was led by her faith to heal, overcome fear and adapt to her environment, YOUR support will enable all our current and future residents the highest quality of long-term care. We ask that you remember YOUR family and share in the celebration of Anne’s life – and the legacies of all those who have passed, are cared for by us and will join us to extend life through your generosity. During these holidays, we focus on thanksgiving, reconciliation and gratitude. We are on the upswing from this tumultuous year and ask you join in our mission to end 2020 with empathy and support. Please join us. Please lead by example. Please help us and our residents. Like Anne Saliga did… Please let your faith guide you, be an inspiration and give.
“People who live their life in prayer live in peace because the stresses of life are gone. I am at peace.”
From the entire Village at Marymount, we thank you for your consideration and wish you a peaceful, safe and healthy holiday season. May God bless you and your families.
The Village at Marymount is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID: 20-5652595).