Nursing homes and assisted livings are not the usual venue for a wedding vow renewal, but a recent ceremony proved that our Peabody campus was, in fact, the perfect choice. Alma Barrett, age 87, a resident on the Peabody campus, wanted desperately to be present when her daughter Judi Corbishley and son-in-law Chris Corbishley renewed their wedding vows on their 25th wedding anniversary. With the help of the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare staff and expert planning by Judi and Chris, Alma’s dream became a reality.
The bride and groom walked down the aisle on May 25th before 23 guests, residents, and staff to the legendary song “I Will.” The famed Christopher Cross hit, not coincidentally, was their wedding song 25 years ago. As the song is quite long, the happy couple entertained guests with an impromptu dance before the ceremony. It was a special day, made even more significant by the fact that May 25th was also the wedding anniversary of Alma and her late husband Larry.
“This ceremony was everything we hoped it would be,” said Judi Corbishley. “We knew we wanted to do something fun to celebrate this milestone anniversary, the pandemic being over and Chris making it through a very serious health crisis.” In August 2020, Chris was hospitalized for over a month with a severe case of sepsis, which ultimately caused three separate strokes. For a time Chris lost the ability to speak. While his progress at home was slow, he ultimately made a complete recovery, thanks to the love and support of Judi, their daughter Jordan (23) and son Noah (21).
The bridal party consisted of six bridesmaids and six groomsmen, including, of course, Jordan and Noah. The couple’s good friend, Craig Branscomb, performed the ceremony, prompting both tears and laughter from the bride and groom. When asked what the day meant to her, mom Alma was quick to give her opinion. “This wedding was so beautiful,” exclaimed Alma. “It was even better than the first one,” she said with a laugh.
Alma has been a resident in Peabody for the last two years. She is adored by residents and staff alike. “Alma is such a beloved member of the Kaplan family,” said Marisa Waters, Director of Marketing for the Peabody campus. “She is an avid Bingo player, loves our history series and is a terrific conversationalist. We were excited to host this special occasion for Alma and her family.”
Holding the ceremony on the Peabody campus meant a great deal to Judi and Chris. “My mom loves living here, so for us, it’s our ‘happy’ place,” said Judi. “We couldn’t see her for such a long time because of the pandemic, but we knew she was happy, healthy and safe. We are grateful to the entire CJL staff for taking such wonderful care of her and organizing the virtual visits. Renewing our vows at the assisted living seemed like the right thing to do.”
Judi was actually able to see her mom in person in early January, well before visitors were allowed on the campus. As an employee of CVS, Judi was asked if she wanted to join the vaccination team. “I agreed on the condition that I be allowed to vaccinate my mom,” recalled Judy. “After not seeing her in person for over six months, I was finally able to hug and kiss her. We both cried.” She added, “But they were tears of joy.”