In a recent article by Abilene Reporter News, the publication featured one of our residents, Gracie, at Lyndale Abilene Senior Living as part of their Everyday Heroes feature. This feature focuses on the positive aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how certain citizens, like Gracie, stepped up to serve others.
An excerpt from this article is listed below. We hope this story warms your heart – we are so blessed and encouraged by Gracie’s selflessness and drive to serve.
When the pandemic and its associated lockdowns arrived in Abilene in mid-March, many goods and services most of us took for granted quickly became hard to get.
Toilet paper. Cleaning supplies. Haircuts.
The last of these was especially apparent to resident Gracie W., who, along with other residents of Lyndale Abilene Senior Living, soon found herself growing a bit shaggy, and without a barber in sight.
“The whole place was locked down, none of us could leave,” Gracie said. “All our hair got long and scroungy-looking.”
After about three weeks of isolation, the issue had come to a head, and it was at that point Gracie took matters into her own hands — and clippers.
“I used to cut on my own hair, and my mother and mother-in-law’s, and my daddy and daddy-in-law’s, and my children’s hair,” Gracie said. “So, I just came in here and cut mine.”
Gracie didn’t intend for it to go any further, but when she stepped into the hallway afterward, she caught the attention of a neighbor, LuJeane A.
“Somehow or another, she was really impressed with that; I didn’t know why, it quite surprised me,” Gracie said.
“So, she asked me to cut hers. Then she had friends who asked her who cut it, and one or two of them asked me to cut their hair, and then they all observed that and decided that they could trust me to cut their hair.”
Gracie estimates that so far, she’s cut about 50 heads of hair, although a some have been repeat “customers.” Most of them were women, although a few men also got clipped.
And the men needed it, too, she said.
“They really got ragged.”
She told each of her clients she doesn’t have any professional experience or formal training, and that she doesn’t do permanents or wash and roll hair.
But it was enough to raise spirits around the community.
Until clipping her own this year, Williams said she hadn’t cut hair since the death of her husband, Waylon, in 2007. Most of her experience in the field came from cutting for family members when the couple lived on their farm near Longworth, south of Roby in Fisher County, before they moved to Sweetwater to work for Ludlum Measurements.
Gracie started 2020 with just a comb and a pair of scissors, but has since built a more extensive kit, thanks to donations. Although she doesn’t charge, some of her clients insist on giving money, she said.
“I just took it and bought me some barber tools — brushes and capes — and let them buy my stuff to cut their hair with,” she said.
Her biggest reward, though, has come from the sense of gratitude she felt from those under her clippers.
“I did feel like I made a lot of people feel good about themselves. They’ve all been very gracious and have appreciated everything I’ve done,” Gracie said.
“That was a blessing in itself to me, the appreciation and friendship that we developed doing that.”
We are so thankful to have Gracie as part of the Lyndale Abilene family and for sharing her talent with our residents to help them and to bring positivity to the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential visitors including salon professionals were prohibited from visiting the community for several months. Click here to read the full article from Abilene Reporter News.