Janice Wooster & Beth McKinney
How friends meet is often an interesting story. Theirs is no
exception. But the friendship shared by the inseparable duo
of Janice Wooster, 82 and Beth McKinney, 45 becomes
more fascinating the more you know about them.
As a nurse, Beth was always drawn to helping patients, ensuring
top-notch care. But after working in one doctor's office where she
felt incompatibly suited, she found herself praying about work while
on a walk. The words came to her clearly: "Patient Care Advocate."
Certain that was a divine message, she decided to go into business with
that very name as a private nurse and advocate.
Before launching head-first into her entrepreneurial venture, she
worked part-time with Dr. Patrick Jordan, who was well-aware of her
business plan, happy to have her on-board in the interim. About a year
into the position, in '07, thinking perhaps Beth could help, Dr. Jordan
introduced her to a woman named Janice Wooster, who had moved from
Sarasota to be nearer to her children after the passing of her husband.
And help she did. Interestingly though, the support has been reciprocal,
growing into a deeper friendship, with the two now like family.
Janice is better known as "GG," a name that perfectly fits this beautifully
vivacious great-gradmother with dark hair and sparkling emerald-green
Dealing with the recovery from a broken foot and ankle, back
surgery, and blind in one eye, GG had a slew of doctors' appointments.
Understandably concerned for her safety, GG's children didn't want her to
drive anymore. An incredibly difficult transition, GG said she felt as though
"her independence had vanished." But one thing about GG, nothing keeps
her down. She is the embodiment of resilience and strength.
Enter Beth, single mother and experienced nurse. Beth began to
drive GG to doctors' visits, then later to physical therapy three times a
week, grocery shopping and everything in between.
Now, the two have an established routine that's as second-nature as
breathing, the highlight of which is a daily lunch at Redfish. The staff
expects them, greeting them with familial hugs and immediate service,
which usually means a glass of red wine for GG. "For antioxidants!"
explains GG who is health-minded, especially in the presence of Beth,
who can raise a single eyebrow when there's consideration of lesshealthy
choices, albeit lovingly and with a gentle smile.
In reference to GG's health, Beth said, "I always knew that exercise
and diet made a difference, but it has been life-changing with GG."
The friends' lives have become wonderfully intertwined. Often GG
will accompany Beth to carpool to pick up Beth's daughter, Suzanna,
age 10. GG has become a grandmotherly figure in Suzanna's life, and
the pair are currently reading a Nancy Drew novel together. GG is a
voracious reader and lover of the arts, especially soul-stirring music.
As it is still today, GG's life has been one lived adventurously. Many
islanders remember the Nauti Lady yacht docked at Harbour Town; it
was owned by herself and her husband, Roy. They sailed along the eastern
seaboard, and to the Abacos, with GG deftly serving as navigator.
Now, GG has a walker she named "Daisy" because she's "always
driving Miss Daisy," but one of her many goals is to be without it.
Another goal? To live vibrantly and fully to age 100. She also plans to
parasail and begin painting.
Beth remarks on GG's indominitable spirit, "she offers this pragmatic
wisdom," As a single mom, Beth has had her own ups and downs, and
has learned she can count on "no-nonsense advice from GG.when
others might have found it easier to turn their backs."
These special ladies give each other extremely valuable gifts, in their
own unique capacity, the greatest of which is simply, love.
Beth- Clinton, SC
G.G.- Albany. NY
Moved to Hilton Head:
What people would be suprised to know about you:
Beth- I'm going to South Africa
G.G.- I recently got a tattoo of my beloved Dachsund
on my left shoulder
Favorite TV show:
Beth- House M.D.
G.G.- House M.D.
A Perfect Day:
Beth- Beach, Ice Cream, Dinner, Movie, Moonlight
Words to live by:
Beth- We're here to serve others