Woman, 85, gets a special garden party in Fort Worth

Posted Tuesday, May. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Eighty-five-year-old Norma Lewerenz caught a little spring fever that didn’t go unnoticed by hospice care workers.

“I just said it would be nice to be out walking around in the park,” Lewerenz said. “I guess I was daydreaming.”

But Lewerenz’s dream soon became the mission of hospice workers, family and friends, who set up an elaborate excursion that included a trip by limousine from an assisted living facility in Arlington to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. She spent Tuesday morning in the park with a volunteer who escorted her as she fed Koi fish and lunched at The Gardens Restaurant.

“It is a very nice day,” Lewerenz said after touring the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. “Unbelievable. I still don’t understand it all, but I’m enjoying it.”

Lewerenz has been living at an assisted living facility in Arlington since last fall, said granddaughter, Sarah Moss of Cleburne. Lewerenz, who grew up in New England, has early onset dementia. The outing was welcomed by the family because they want her to have some fun while in hospice care.

Pictures from the day at the park will be made into a scrapbook for Lewerenz.

“She’s always liked the outdoors and gardens,” Mass said.

Mass said her grandmother has always been very independent, spirited and hard working. She has also traveled to Bermuda and Europe.

Mass said workers from Heritage Hospice of Texas and Horizon Bay Arlington treated her grandmother like a queen. She received a mini-makeover that included a manicure and a tiara. She emerged from a black limousine wearing a pink rose corsage.

“We call this the Dream Project,” said Beverly Snider, a volunteer and bereavement coordinator for Heritage Hospice, which offers support care services to the Lewerenz’s assisted living center.

Snider said when they heard about Lewerenz’s wish, they wanted to make it come true. They were able to organize the day at the park with volunteers and donations (the limousine service and corsage were donated). Snider’s husband, Tom, filled in as escort.

“She didn’t really ask for it,” Tom Snider said. “That’s what makes it so much fun.”

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1

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