Tyler goes to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Tyler, age 76, of Brookdale Shadowlake in Houston, TX, loves to reminisce about growing up in her small family-owned farm in Virginia. “I was a farm girl, you know?” she would always say. “I have been away from farming aspect for quite some time,” she said. Her Wish of a Lifetime was to reconnect with her passion for farming by attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“You learn a lot of responsibility when you grow up on a small farm,” Tyler explained. At six years old, she started working on the farm by watering the fields. Soon after, she learned how to milk cattle. As a young girl, she participated in cattle dairy competitions. She received the highest level of honor with the 4-H agricultural organization. In college, she studied agriculture and dairy management.

Tyler brings the hard work and responsibility that she learned at the farm back to her senior living community where she “tirelessly volunteers in a thousand different ways,” according to Carrie, her nominator and Resident Programs Coordinator. Tyler describes herself as the “house mother” or the “resident advocate.” Having lived in her community for 11 years, she knows the residents and the staff better than anyone. She is always looking out for other residents and helping out in any way that she can.

She has had different jobs in her lifetime, but her memory and mind always go back to her life working on the farm and being around all the animals they raised. “When Carrie asked me where is the one place I’d really like to go, I said ‘the rodeo,’” Tyler explained, “I'm getting teared up just thinking about it. I'd be getting back to my childhood and education background.”

Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale were thrilled to make Tyler’s wish become a reality. In March 2017, Tyler attended the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where she was be surrounded by agriculture and livestock once again. "I got a lot more out of it than I thought I would. Getting to walk through the barn and seeing the cattle meant a lot," said Tyler, "I simply can't express everything. I thoroughly enjoyed getting back to my roots. I'm thoroughly glad I had a chance to go and it wouldn't have happened any other way."

Special Thanks to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for giving Tyler the VIP experience. 

Photos by Lee Beckmann, Beck Creative.