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  • Writer's pictureBob Long

Meet Dillie, Homeowner Interview

At 89 years young, Dillie P. says that she takes each day as it comes. She has lived in her home for 24 years and intends to stay there. As she strives to maintain her independence, she has benefited from assistance from NeighborLink Indianapolis on various projects, including the installation of a new railing on her steps, cleanup of her yard, HVAC replacement, and other accessibility projects.

Dillie worked as a caregiver for more than 30 years until retiring in 2019. Unfortunately, during her working years she was unable to build up any retirement savings. She lives frugally, and is quick to note that she “gets by.”

It's been an up and down year for Dillie. When interviewed recently, she was less than two weeks removed from a hospital stay. It all began when a visit to her doctor revealed that she had previously suffered two heart attacks. Since then, she has been back and forth to the hospital for two procedures including stents in her heart and foot. She says that “during one of them, I died on the table. The doctor brought me back,” Dillie recalls.

Although she loves the “sweet physicians,” she hopes another hospital visit is not in her future. “The food is terrible,” she says with a laugh.

Dillie is sustained by her faith. “I'm a spiritual person. Before, I was 'fingers a snappin' and 'heels a tappin.' Now I'm on the Lord's side,” she says.

She points to many pivotal times in her life when the Lord guided her. These include: a call to go door-to-door spreading the Word during a pregnancy; turning away from cigarettes; and making it possible to overcome the odds and purchase her home.

“So many people forget about the Lord. They can do a better job and he can give them the help that they need,” she says. Dillie doesn't shy away from spreading the Word to her medical caregivers when she has the opportunity.

Dillie is a native of Mississippi. She moved north in 1948 and also lived in Detroit for a while. Dillie is a fan of gospel music and has attended many concerts over the years. One of her favorite artists was Lee William, whom she was able to meet in person. Other favorites include the Jackson Southernaires, Angelaires from Flint, and the Bolton Brothers. Though many of those acts have changed as members have died, Dillie has fond memories and a collection of records and tapes to listen to.

Until this year, Dillie has done her own yard work. “Over the years, I've gotten rid of a lot of the grass so I have less to mow,” she says, pointing to areas with sprawling ground cover and massive flower beds. Due to her recent hospitalization, her physician told her she should no longer mow. Dillie finds it difficult to stand for long periods of time. Her trips to the grocery store are challenging, as waiting in line is painful.

Dillie is a wonderful conversationalist, and she is very straightforward. “I tell it like it is,” she says! Dillie is appreciative of the work that NeighborLink Indy has done for her, as it has enabled her to stay in her home. She has no intention of leaving anytime soon. “This is the home the Lord wanted me to live in. He led me here,” she says.

Homeowners like Dillie remain steadfast in their desire to remain in their homes. There are many others like her in need of assistance. Would you like to lend a helping hand? Check our website for opportunities to jump in.

If you're short on time but still want to get involved, consider a donation to NeighborLink Indianapolis. We do not charge our homeowners for any of the projects or repairs. Your financial support will enable us to serve more homeowners like Dillie in “paying it forward” to our next homeowner.

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