At age 102, after living independently for many years, and then living with her gracious niece for several more years, Clara Togtman decided it was time to make the move to Victorian Village. “I already knew so many people who lived there,” she says. “I knew it would be a great place for me, and it really has been.”
Clara wasn’t nervous about moving during the most active time of the coronavirus in 2020. “I knew God was there and that he’d take care of me.” Even the initial quarantine during the move-in didn’t bother her. “I was used to living alone before,” she says. “And this time, I knew it was temporary. I could be patient.”
But she has enjoyed Victorian Village even more as it has begun to open up. “I go to dinner every day in our dining room,” she says. “And I love puzzles and games, and there are always people who want to play.” After getting both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, she has also been going to church with her nephew in Palos Heights, as well as attending spiritual services on the Victorian Village campus.
This past March, Clara celebrated her 103rd birthday in her new home at Victorian Village. The faces of residents and staff alike light up at the mention of Clara’s name. Her positive spirit has been infectious and inspiring to those who encounter her.
Clara continues to look to the future with gratitude and hope. “In my life, I’ve seen a lot of changes in this world,” she says. “I’ve been through the Great Depression, and so many other events. God has taken care of me every time. I don’t know what else I will experience, but I know God is with me. I am blessed.”