Story: Community Matters
Vidalina Cruz and her sidekick, Snickers the Maltese, live at Franklin Meadows near Milwaukee, WI. “Having a stable place to live makes me feel wonderful every day,” says Vida. “My home is like a coat that covers me up from the cold, it gives me comfort just like a winter coat would.”
At five years old, Vida moved from Puerto Rico to Wisconsin with her parents and five siblings. Both of her parents worked full-time jobs to support the family and provide a loving home for their kids. Vida has fond memories of growing up in a peaceful home and this is something she still values today.
There’s a lot of activity here and I love every minute of it.
After marrying the love of her life, Vida and her husband had three children and created a joyful home together. Life then took an unexpected turn. In a terrible work accident, Vida’s husband passed away when their youngest child was just two years old. “It was a beautiful love story,” Vida said about her husband. To support her family, Vida began working twelve hours a day while her mother helped out with her children. Vida purchased a duplex to share with her parents in order to provide a home for her entire family.
Vida’s children came first in her life and she would do anything to make sure they had the supports in place to thrive. She now has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. “I have a beautiful family and they love their grandma,” says Vida. Her children tell her that she is their mom and dad together. Each year they wish her both a happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This is something Vida cherishes.
Once her children were grown, Vida found the duplex to be too much maintenance and so moved to a rented apartment. She wasn’t planning on moving again, but a real estate company purchased her apartment building and the cost of living went up significantly. Vida hadn’t heard of CommonBond Communities until she saw a newspaper clipping advertising a senior living complex. She loved her apartment from the first moment she saw it and knew it was home.
As a child, Vida dreamed of being an interior decorator and is now enjoying putting her own touch on her apartment. She said it’s important to keep her apartment up as if it were her own property because she has so much respect for her home and her community.
The community at Franklin Meadows is especially important to Vida. “There’s a lot of activity here and I love every minute of it,” said Vida. She participates in movie nights, bingo games, and football parties on the weekends. “It’s community where everyone is a friend and people respect each other,” commented Vida.
Vida plans on staying in this home for as long as she can. She loves the light that shines in her apartment through her big windows and spends a lot of time there with her dog who tells her every night when it’s time to go to bed. Mostly she loves that it is a peaceful home similar to what she remembers growing up as a child.