By Stacy Smith

Born in Albany, Indiana, at age three until her 60s, Norma Self lived in Los Angeles, California, and in the surrounding Los Angeles cities such as Baldwin Park.  Los Angeles is Spanish for, ‘The Angels.’ Living in the city of angels seems a fitting match for Ms. Self when you consider her service to children in need and to others.

While living in the Los Angeles area, she was a homemaker and raised her four children. As the children grew older, she volunteered at a juvenile detention home where she led arts and crafts activities. Then, she began ministering to the children in the detention home, and also began ministering to children at a local orphanage.

“She is such a comfort to those around her. Her love for the Lord shines through,” said Shanon Owen, Administrator at Hartford Health Care.

For the past five years, she has resided at Hartford Health Care, and considers Hartford, Alabama, her hometown. She enjoys church services and her new home church. She has a passion for singing programs. “I love to sing!” exclaims Ms. Self.

Norma Self is the president of the Red Hatter’s Club. She is mayor of the town council, and she leads a Bible study every Wednesday.

“The nursing home has helped me be more disciplined. The exercise program keeps me active. The contact with other residents and staff keeps me encouraged. It all keeps me going!” said Self.

She is 92, and, in addition to her four children, she has 13 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 1 great-great child. She said that she has experienced a lot by her age. “I feel I could help people with day-to-day problems that arise when growing older.”

It’s easy for the discussion between Norma Self and the staff to become a debate of who is providing the bigger blessing for the other. “I feel smarter every year. The nursing home teaches me something new on a daily basis. I feel this nursing home has been a blessing to me, and helped me to become a better person,” said Self.

Owen said, “Ms. Self is both humble and outstanding. Her resident leadership at Hartford Health Care is outstanding. The way she showers fellow residents and staff daily with kindness and encouragement is humble. She is a bright light wherever she goes.”

Editor’s note: This is the sixth story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2017 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 25, we’ll post a story about Ms. Shelby Ridge Rehab Select Katherine Moorer.

Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.

For more information about the pageant, click here.