Wishful thinking

Perry Township resident Jean Magnant’s ‘dream comes true’ when she receives a trip to visit her sister in Texas

JeanMagnate and MaryRichards
Jean and Mary

Though they have resided in different states since they were young adults, sisters Jean Magnant and Mary Richards maintained their close bond through the years. Having turned 100 in January, Jean expressed her wish was to visit her 93-year-old sister again. Although they talk on the phone daily, it had been four years since they last saw each other.

That wish was granted by the Twilight Wish Foundation Chapter of Indiana and American Senior Communities. Jean and two of her children, Paula Roessler, Southside resident, and Marilyn McKibben, of Pennsylvania, flew to Texas to visit Mary and her family on June 15 and 16.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” Jean said. “There had been rumors for months. When they asked me what I want, I said I’d love to see my sister but never thought it would happen. When the wheels started to turn, they kept it a secret from me. I had only a week or two to prepare. I was happy to know that it was a reality.”

A native of Hancock, Mich., Jean was one of four siblings. Jean moved to Indiana, the Irvington area, in 1947 with her late husband and two children. They had three more children while living in Indianapolis. After 40 years in Irvington, Jean moved to Beech Grove. She now resides at Rosegate in Perry Township. Jean is a member of St. Jude Parish and said she enjoys playing Words with Friends on her iPad and doing crossword puzzles.

Jean and her sister, Mary, meet each other halfway while raising their children. Later, as widows, they would regularly travel hundreds of miles for those visits. Mary moved from the Midwest, to Texas in 2007 to be closer to her daughter. Jean was able to visit her in Texas two or three times.

The Twilight Wish Foundation and American Senior Communities paid for Jean and her daughters’ flight to Texas. Jean had a send-off ceremony before leaving for the airport, with balloons and red carpet treatment. Jean decided to stay the night with her niece instead of at a hotel. Jean said she and her sister had a good time watching the young children play, and playing LCR, a dice game.

“The fact that we’re together meant so much,” Jean said. “I took a long a picture that she had not seen of our parent’s home. We talked about that. But we didn’t talk about the past very much. We were happy to be together and enjoy the activities of the young people… It was all very exciting. We’re very grateful to the Twilight Foundation for their generosity. It was a dream come true.”