When Doris Wyrick sold her house in Jefferson City, she never dreamed it would be the first step on her journey to Hawaii.
“After my husband passed away, I lived alone in my house for four years as a widow,” she says. “I was still driving, and I had wonderful neighbors, but the house was getting to be too much for me. So when I heard Heisinger Bluffs was opening the (independent living) apartments, I decided to go take a look.”
What she found was better than she’d hoped. “This is such a good place for someone,” she says. “You feel secure here. The people who are here to help you are just so good.”
Doris’ days began to fill up with volunteering, out trips, club activities, and chapel services, along with get-togethers with new friends. “The best part is, your neighbors are your friends. And better yet, you don’t have to cook for them!” she says with a laugh. “I’m 88 years old. I’ve cooked enough in my time!”
One of the most special friendships Doris made in her new home was with Nina Meeks, the community’s active living coordinator. “Both of us always wanted to go to Hawaii,” Doris says. “Her husband said he would never go, so we decided to go together.”
Soon, the pair were sailing a catamaran around Diamondhead, whale watching, walking on black sand beaches, and touring the Arizona Memorial – a special experience for Doris, both as someone who remembers hearing news reports about the attack on Pearl Harbor and as an avid history buff. “I was born in 1923,” Doris says. “Right after that we were in a Depression, and then we had a war. You don’t get a chance to travel when those kinds of things are going on.”
That’s one reason why Doris says her time at Heisinger Bluffs – and especially her friendship with Nina – has been so good for her. “I’m very close to Nina,” she says. “She’s probably the best thing here for me. And there are a whole lot of good things here.”