One final touch up before Millie McDonald takes the stage.
“I am people oriented,” said Ms. McDonald. “Being a music teacher, you travel everywhere to perform from Mobile to Birmingham and all over with students. I look forward to traveling across Alabama as Ms. Alabama Nursing Home.”
For more than 45 years, Ms. McDonald taught music and has no intention of stopping instructing or stopping learning now.
“My daughter Dawn gave me a smartphone,” said Ms. McDonald. “With it, somehow I hacked into my granddaughter Shanna’s phone.” Her granddaughter Shanna lives in Tallahassee and also thought Ms. McDonald’s Facebook account had been compromised. Dawn had to explain to Shanna that all of that activity was, in fact, her grandmother on Facebook connecting to her former students.
Ms. McDonald has three daughters named Dawn, Dusk, and Day, and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her daughter Day McDonald Hull said, “If you told me the woman I know from last summer would be here winning this pageant today, I couldn’t believe it. She had a split sternum, triple bypass surgery, a right shoulder injury, a knee replacement, and could not get rid of pneumonia. This is extraordinary.”
Ms. McDonald gives the following advice to people living in a nursing home, “Don’t give up. Always look forward. Don’t look back. Keep going up the ladder. Think positively. Let’s count our blessings and think about what we are doing.”
As her car approached Greenville city limits following the pageant, Ms. McDonald saw blue lights flashing and heard sirens blaring. Police Chief Lonzo Ingram surprised her with a police escort back to Crown Health Care. “I was glad to do it for Mrs. Millie,” Chief Ingram said.
Day McDonald Hull said, “Yes, we need to celebrate big time. I am ready for the fireworks and parades.”
Ms. McDonald remarked, “They’ve got a tiger by the tail.”
Editor’s Note: Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.