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Five Elderly Siblings Reunite in Same Nursing Home

Lifestyle | By  | 
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bostonglobe.com

bostonglobe.com

It’s never too late for a family reunion. That’s what a group of five elderly siblings are proving after they have one by one moved into the same nursing home in Peabody, Massachusetts, giving one another plenty of familiarity during their golden years.

Carmen Wesala, 98, was the first to move into the nursing facility in 2012. The following year she was joined by her sister, Mary Cena, 92. Another sister, Georgia Southwick, 93, came in 2015 and was soon followed by Lucy O’Brien, 85. The group was completed last November with the arrival of brother Larry Mallia, 90.

The five siblings come from a tight-knit group of 11 children, all of whom spent most of their adult lives around the Peabody area.

“The 11 of us always got along. There was a lot of love in our family and you can see so much proof of that today,” Cena explains. “We are all just so happy to be together again. I just wish my other brothers and sisters could have experienced this with us.”

Even before they all moved to the same nursing facility, they would get together to play cards or hold yard sales, so not much has changed. It’s actually a little easier for the group to stay in touch with one another, as the siblings eat dinner together most nights and can spend every holiday with one another.

“There are a lot of times when they’re together just sitting around the table talking to each other, or with visiting family members,” explains Wanda Carratu, who manages the care facility. “They all look after each other. And they know when someone may not be feeling well that day, or whatever may be happening. They sense that.”

Cena and her remaining siblings wouldn’t have it any other way. “I can’t understand how brothers and sisters can go through life without speaking to each other,” she says.

“When you’re old and you think of the best time of your life, you think of those times when you were surrounded by family and friends. Those were the best times of my life. I couldn’t ask for anything better in the end.”


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