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Caring community

Marie Walker embraces all Maris Grove has to offer

Created date

February 19th, 2018
In the living room of her home at Maris Grove, Marie Walker sits surrounded by antique furniture she refinished herself. She’s cuddling one of the bears she makes for hospice.

In the living room of her home at Maris Grove, Marie Walker sits surrounded by antique furniture she refinished herself. She’s cuddling one of the bears she makes for hospice.


When a memory begins with “Sometimes you can’t help doing things like your mother,” readers know they’re in for a good story.

That’s how Maris Grove community member Marie Walker began “The Mop,” her memory published last fall in NeighborNews, the monthly resident-produced newspaper at Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa. 

Marie doesn’t write for posterity but to record things as they occur to her and that her children might not know. “Things happen that stir up memories, and I like to write them down,” she says.

When she does put pen to paper, she strives for just the right noun, just the right adjective, just the right verb to paint vivid pictures in her readers’ minds. 

She’s always remembered her English professor’s advice: “Never stop searching for the right word.” 

Marie ultimately earned a fine arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, used her art in a series of post-college jobs, and then shifted her focus to raising five children. Now writing has replaced her art.

Supportive community

Five years ago, the Walkers realized their four-bedroom house of 50 years in Havertown, Pa., had become too big for them.

Their basement was full, their attic was full, and they relied on neighbors to cut the lawn and shovel the snow. They decided to downsize and move to maintenance-free living at Maris Grove.

Then, soon after their move, Marie’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and she put off becoming involved in campus activities. 

But after she was widowed, a treasured neighbor reached out to her and drew her into community life and the support she needed through that time. 

It proved to her that moving to Maris Grove had indeed been the right choice. “Almost everyone I’ve met here is very caring,” says Marie. “If something happens to you, they’re just fantastic.”

She also values the campus medical center staff. 

Marie believes she couldn’t be in better hands than those of Maris Grove’s staff physicians. And should something happen in the middle of the night, she need only pull one of the emergency cords in her apartment home and Maris Grove’s team of emergency medical technicians will arrive immediately.

“And they remember you,” she says. “When they see you in the hallway later, they always say hello and ask how you’re doing.”

Marie benefitted from the same personal care and consideration at Maris Grove’s on-site continuing care center when she received some physical and occupational therapy.

Walkable year-round

Now that winter is in full swing, Marie doubly appreciates that she can walk indoors to all campus amenities like the fitness center, bank, pharmacy, and convenience store. 

“I used to love walking to church in Havertown,” says Marie. She still walks to church because services are held in Maris Grove’s beautiful interfaith chapel, which is accessible through indoor, climate-controlled walkways.

The living room of her lovely apartment home echoes the living room of her much-loved house. There, Marie rereads classic novels, writes her memories, and makes bears for hospice, a project she took up after 9/11. 

She won’t stop making the bears because, while she doesn’t know who receives them, she does know the comfort they bring. 

For fun, she’s started playing table shuffleboard with her neighbors, and she dines each evening with friends in one of Maris Grove’s six campus restaurants.