To Miss Alice, with love

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

AHOSKIE — Dozens of colorful cards crowd a wooden door at the Ahoskie House, each of them signed in thought of resident Alice Nickens.

It’s about as many cards one door can hold, but the 105-year-old adores each and every one of them.

“I look forward to getting them,” said the former school teacher who taught at (and even lived near) C.S. Brown School for 47 years.

Since June, more than 100 cards have graced Nickens’ door, coming from all over the country from California to Texas to Florida and New York.

Some of them are from people she knows, some are not. But it’s of no consequence to Nickens; she a door filled with proof that people have her in their thoughts.

For Lynell J. Eure, the sight of the cards gives her assurance that her dear longtime family and church friend has a visitor each day.

“I went to visit her one day and she said some days she doesn’t get visitors,” she said. “So I started to think, maybe if I could get people to send cards, she would have a visitor everyday.”

Eure set about contacting 31 people for the effort, assigning each of them a day during the month so Nickens would get a card each day.

It’s not the only undertaking she has done for Nickens. Since her friend turned 100, Eure has organized birthday celebrations for Nickens. Each year for her birthday, crochet butterflies are sent to Nickens from a group on the Internet that Eure contacted. Those butterflies are exhibited on a cork board in Nickens’ room—yet another collection she is proud of.

Eure knows each card that is sent to Nickens’ boosts the senior’s spirits.

“Imagine you sitting in a (senior adult) facility and no one comes to visit you,” said Eure about the reason behind the card effort. “Can you ever have too many cards?”

Nickens called the cards “lovely” and seemed to not be able to pick a favorite.

Her neighbors at Ahoskie House also come to take a peek at Nickens’ collection.

“People come in to look at the cards,” said Nickens.

In the meantime, Nickens looks forward to each card that comes to her through the mail.

“I’m really thankful to Lynell and the people who have made it possible,” said Nickens. “It really fills a spot, instead of sitting here and looking into space.”

Eure invites the public to send Nickens cards at: Alice Nickens, Ahoskie House, 407 Loftin Lane, Rm. 302, Ahoskie, NC 27910.