AKRON, Ohio -- An Akron woman received the “ultimate gift” for her birthday. It was not expensive, but special because of the priceless memories it will bring.
Thursday was a day of celebration for Virginia Griffin. Her 84th birthday began with an outing to Summit Mall, away from the nursing home where she has been for the past year.
“I feel like I’m 50," Virginia said. Her daughter told her she looks like she's 50.
Alzheimer’s is gradually taking away Virginia’s memory of the life she has shared with Jim, her husband of 65 years, their five children and grandchildren.
"We’ve had a fantastic life. The trouble is – she can't remember, and I can't forget,” Jim said.
This day, Jim’s ultimate gift to his wife is a Build-A-Bear with his voice. It's hoped the bear will be a comfort to Virginia when Jim can't be at her side.
When the bear’s paw is pressed, Virginia will hear Jim saying, "Good morning, darling. How are you this morning? You're looking beautiful as usual."
Jim hopes it will feel like he is right there with her.
"When I go to the nursing home to see her, if she hears my voice, most of the time, she will go to sleep because it is like a security blanket. She feels like she's protected. I’m back again,” Jim added.
This is all part of "The Gift of a Day" program.
Crossroads Hospice helped Jim grant his wife's birthday wish.
“We feel when a person is on hospice and towards the end of their journey, we feel they need to do a special day that they have always wanted to do,” Denise Czech-Dydo of Crossroads Hospice said.
This day a memory was made with a talking bear, given with love.
It’s hoped this simple gift brings a lifetime of joy and comfort.