7915 N 30th St, Omaha, NE 68112
(402) 827-6000

Bill and Yvonne – A Tale of Forever

There are many fixtures in the lobby of Florence Home Healthcare in Omaha. There are old pictures, an aquarium, comfortable chairs, and antique dolls. Stop by any afternoon and you will see something else. Bill and Yvonne LaBore sitting together in our lobby. Bill and Yvonne were married in Papillion, Nebraska in 1955. It was the beginning of a love affair that has lasted for more than 60 years; a love affair whose flames burn as bright today as they did in 1955.
Yvonne is a resident at Florence Home Healthcare in Omaha. She suffers from dementia and has been at Florence Home since 2013. Bill still lives in the house they have shared for more than 30 years, but Bill isn’t a homebody. Bill spends his afternoons, seven days a week, at Florence Home with his bride. Bill arrives in the early afternoon and goes to Yvonne’s room to bring her downstairs to the lobby. There they spend time together. Sometimes sitting in silence, other times in conversation with the staff or other residents. They watch the weather outside and people watch in the lobby. It doesn’t matter what they do. Together is what matters.
Bill and Yvonne met after Bill returned home from the Army, where he spent two years in the Korean War and one year in Japan. Yvonne was a PBX (phone) operator at Wright and Wilhelm Hardware suppliers in downtown Omaha. Bill had a friend who worked with Yvonne, so he’d seen her now and then. One day Bill passed her as she was on her way to catch a bus home. He invited her to come with him to a place that had live entertainment. She said “yes”. That was the first day of their more than 60 years together.
I try to spend time with Bill and Yvonne every day I’m in the office. We share stories and talk about our families. Bill talks often about their two daughters, Cynthia and Lorinda, and he and Yvonne’s two grandsons.
One day I asked Bill “Why do you come up every day?” He said “Because I still have the same feelings for her. She may not know it every day, but she does often enough that I don’t want to miss a day. I also remember when Yvonne’s mother was in a nursing home. We visited her every Sunday. The look on her face when we walked into the room told me how important our visits were to her. I suppose I could miss a day here and there and she wouldn’t notice, but I can’t spend a day without being with her.”
Bill and Yvonne LaBore should serve as examples to all of us. We should use their story as a reminder to keep close to our loved ones, especially as they age. More than half of residents in nursing homes never have a visitor. It takes just a short amount of time to brighten the day of a senior with a visit or even a phone call. Make that your New Year’s resolution. You’ll be glad you did.

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