If you’re in the Stellar Care dining room during meal service and hear a steady stream of chuckles and laughter, chances are, you’re somewhere near Lourdes Schuler’s table. At the age of 83, she still has not lost an ounce of her sense of humor.
Lourdes was born the fourth of five children to a family of a Portuguese tuna fisherman. She grew up with stories of her father and brother catching tuna so big that they required two, and sometimes even three poles to bring in. As a child, Lourdes was quite the troublemaker and prankster, which kept life interesting for her proud Portuguese parents. While her mom went on to become the president of the Portuguese Society and her father pioneered the Tunaman’s Memorial in Point Loma, Lourdes kept herself busy running around. A self- proclaimed tomboy, she won awards as a track runner and gave her parents a few early gray hairs.
After high school, Lourdes moved to the city of Orange, where she taught second grade for a brief time before meeting her future husband and moving back to San Diego. After a brief engagement, Lourdes married the love of her life in 1954 at the age of 22, and settled into her new life as a mother and worked as yard duty at a local school. With the mantle of motherhood firmly in place, Lourdes gave up her days of being a prankster. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her kids, Lourdes’ previous role as the family joker was taken over by her husband, who had just as devious a sense of humor as she had in her younger days. Her daughter Janine recalls a childhood full of practical jokes and fun, with her mom as the tolerant recipient. Lourdes had the last laugh however, as she simply became stricter with Janine as time went on.
When she was all grown up, Janine introduced Lourdes to her new boyfriend (and future husband) a dashing young man who seemed oddly familiar to her mom. As it turned out, Lourdes used to watch over him when he was a boy in her recess yard. Lourdes has always had a sharp memory with faces and names, and can still remember her teachers’ names going as far back as kindergarten. Her sharp mind isn’t the only think that hasn’t lost a step, for at the age of 80, Lourdes was still able to outrun her daughter. Her grandson seems to have inherited the same sharp mind; he just graduated from San Diego State University with an award for being the academic student of the year.
If you’re visiting the community and wonder who Lourdes may be, just follow the laughter and look for the lady with a smile on her face, as if on the verge of letting you in on a favorite inside joke. We are blessed to have Lourdes with us, spreading her good humor with her tablemates.
One of the hardest problems in personal relationships is trying to make a marriage work when caring for an elderly parent. In the end, keeping a marriage together is a full-time job in and of itself before adding anything else to the mix.
A Memory Care Community
4518 54th Street • San Diego, CA 92115
Phone: (619) 287-2920
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