To celebrate this year’s International Day of Friendship, at Orford House, the Coulsdon-based residential care home run by charity Friends of the Elderly, sisters Marguerite and Adrienne Lawrance, who are without doubt each other’s best friend, have been reminiscing about their life together and love for each other.
The sisters have been residents at Orford House for two years, moving in together in May 2021. 92-year-old Marguerite and Adrienne, who is 90-years-old, share an unbreakable bond and have remained inseparable since they were children.
The sisters share a beautiful bedroom at Orford House as they like to stay together. They also have a second bedroom that they have changed into their own living room. “We have always been together,” said Marguerite, “We really are inseparable, so having our own bedroom and living room is perfect. We do most things together here at the care home, everything from dining together, taking part in the activities together and sleeping in the same room together.”
“We have the same sense of humour and keep each other laughing,” added Adrienne. “My sister and I are truly best friends; we’ve never been without each other. We are each other’s soul mate, confidant and forever companion.”
Adrienne and Marguerite lived in Sutton, Surrey – a place where many famous people have been born including Dame Penelope Keith, Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell and the flamboyant Quentin Crisp. The sisters had a very happy childhood, adulthood and very loving memories of their parents, George and Mabel.
“We had a wonderful time living in Sutton,” said Adrienne. “It is actually the place where The Rolling Stones were first discovered back in 1963 in The Winning Post Pub. We were a musical family; our father worked in a factory and was a very talented pianist.
“We used to love standing by the piano listening to him play, singing and having special family times. I think that’s why we enjoy the sing-along sessions, musicals and visiting singers at Orford House so much.”
“We like to participate in many of the other activities at the care home together. We enjoy everything really, but I can safely say for both of us that our favourites – as well as the sing-alongs – are art and colour therapy, crafting, knitting, the relaxing pamper sessions and Memory Lane quizzes.
“We get our hair and nails done together, participate in the wellbeing classes and when the weather is warm, we have a sit in the beautiful gardens and relax with a cup of tea,” added Marguerite.
“We also especially adore the animal visits too,” said Adrienne, “The cute kittens and puppies are absolutely delightful. The sweet creatures are so loving and charming and we look forward to the cuddles we get. They are such characters and always make us smile.”
“We both believe it is very important to interact – not only together – but with the other residents,” continued Marguerite. “When we are taking part in an activity in the Lounge, we have our own, special place to sit – on the comfy double sofa. The other residents are very kind and always keep if free for us.”
The devoted sisters hardly ever disagree or quarrel and enjoy each other’s company, every day. “We both agree having your sister as your best friend is priceless,” said Marguerite. “There’s nobody in the world that knows us better than each other. Adrienne is the one and only person who honestly, truly knows me and I know her in just the same way.” Adrienne chuckled: “We know each other so well, I bet we even know when the other is smiling in the dark.”
Michelle Kennett, the Registered Manager at Orford House said: “Marguerite and Adrienne are kind, caring and lovely residents. Their closeness and love for each other is clear for everyone to see. It is so endearing to see them together, laughing and interacting with the other residents and care team. It’s true what they say that a sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. They are definitely proof of that.”
“The other residents often ask us why we are still so happy together after all this time. It’s simple really, having Adrienne as my sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of and I would never want to,” continued Marguerite. “You’re right, sisters are best friends for life, and you’re my best friend forever,” concluded Adrienne.