LYNN — On the day of her 99th birthday, Mary Cash said she felt blessed with a lifetime of wonderful memories.
“I’ve had a great life. It has been a fun life,” she said to the crowd in her Catalina Road home. Cash was surrounded by family and her friends from All Care, a home care service. The partiers lavished her with bouquets of red and pink roses and colorful gerbera daisies, and her favorite dessert – baklava.
All Care provides personal care, bathing, dressing, and grooming for patients in their home. Nursing, rehabilitation, and hospice care are also offered.
Home health aide manager Sandy MacMillen said Cash’s team is with her each day, enabling her to stay in her own home, and couldn’t let the day pass by without a celebration.
The lifelong Lynner resided on Union Place and Sagamore Street before moving to her current home, which was built by her beloved late husband, Harold. Her son, Harold Cash, Jr., drove to Lynn from his home in Chicago for the celebration. He said he has been trying to get his mom to move to Chicago for more than two decades.
“I have a 23-year-old apartment in my basement with a fireplace that has never had a fire in it,” he said.
But Cash know’s what she wants and has no intention of leaving the city.
“I won’t leave my husband,” she said. “He’s at Pine Grove Cemetery.”
Cash was dancing with her friend Viola when she met her husband, who she said had two left feet. She agreed to dance with him to help out his friend, who was trying to put the moves on Viola.
“I invited him to come to (my parents’ home) to eat and I never got rid of him,” she said. “He couldn’t dance a step. His brother said ‘if you want to keep her, you’ll have to take dancing lessons.’ And so he did.”
Her brother-in-law wasn’t exaggerating; Cash went dancing each week, and each week, her father bought her a new dress for the occasion.
“People told him ‘she’s spoiled,’” Cash said. “He said ‘I know she’s spoiled. I love her and I’m going to spoil her even more.’”
Her son testified that his father lived up to his promise.
“She deserves it,” said Virdania Minaya, a home health aide with All Care who has visited Cash’s home for three years. “When I’m coming here, I don’t feel like I’m at work. It’s quality time with Mary. She’s sweet. She’s nice. She cares about (her aides). She’s just a great person.”