Ninety-year-old Mary Lee Sebastian is a shrewd business-woman. She has been her whole life. Through her career, she was able to finance her own home in Columbia, Missouri; a home which she lived in until a little over 5 years ago. It was then that Sebastian drove her car down the street, got out of the car with the engine still running, and walked all the way back to her garden: the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The incident also marks the beginning of Sebastian’s move to Candlelight Lodge, an assisted living residence.
The move was quite a transition for such a self-sufficient woman. Never married, Sebastian created a life for herself in an era where women typically married and stayed at home. She worked odd jobs as a secretary and became proficient at typing and shorthand. Though she no longer works, she still treats most matters as if they are business. Her only gripe about life is that the Candlelight facility does not treat her stay there as if it is business. She doesn’t let this ruin her time. Sebastian goes to most of the scheduled activities such as exercises, bingo, and dances. With no immediate family, the only visitors she receives are her sister’s children. The visits are rare.