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Finding Strength in New Places

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Doreen Sigle, in black and white, stands in the middle of paper flowers she and friends created for the community's annual fundraiser, which had a Mexican theme.

The road that brought Doreen Sigle to Inverness Village is not one she expected to take. As a 20-year-old war bride fresh from London, she put complete faith in her husband, Buddy, to help her through many of life’s difficult decisions, making the shock she felt after losing him to cancer that much more difficult. Doreen suddenly found herself emotionally devastated and missing the person she had previously leaned on most for strength and support.

That was when Doreen decided to move back to Tulsa, the first town she and Buddy had lived in after they were married. Knowing where she wanted to be made the decision to move to Inverness Village an obvious choice and now she reflects happily on that decision. “To be so happy, and to spend the rest of my life here at Inverness, I have been blessed,” she says. Nevertheless, the transition was not without its difficulties.

Anyone who has ever moved to a completely new environment knows that it can be a little frightening and intimidating. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before someone found Doreen and quickly made her feel right at home. Standing outside the dining room, the head waiter noticed her hovering just beyond the doorway. He introduced himself and asked if she was new here. She said yes and admitted she was very nervous. That’s when he took her by the hand, led her into the dining room and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll seat you with friends. You’ll see.”

Sure enough, she found herself making fast friends with the people she ate with for her very first meal at Inverness Village. One thing led to another and now she and the Edwards eat together all the time. And to think it might not have happened if she hadn’t found the courage to join them for that very first meal.
 
It wasn’t until later that she looked at all the people that were living here that she realized she already knew upwards of 30 people from the time she and Buddy had previously spent living in Tulsa. From then on, Doreen’s friendships blossomed and so did she.

“Inverness Village has provided me with opportunities to become the person I never thought I would and do things that I never thought I could. I go on outings with friends or by myself, I go to group exercise classes, and I have ridden a bike for the very first time!” she says. “I learned how to fish and even caught one for the first time. I enjoyed it so much I bought my own fishing pole – it’s pink!”

Now she feels a newfound sense of freedom, and is taking a special enjoyment in life. Doreen has found passions and interests she never knew she had. She serves on Inverness Village's hospitality committee and spearheaded a major volunteer campaign for the community in 2011. In fact, she was voted Resident Volunteer of the Year in 2011 by LeadingAge Oklahoma, an educational and advocacy organization for the non-profit senior housing field.

But no one could say it better than the way Doreen says it herself, “I owe me, the real me, to Inverness Village.”