Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee shares her wedding dress with ladies living at Aegis of Napa.

Submitted photo

The unwritten steps of life go something like this: Do well in school, go to college, get a good job, find the love of your life, marry and have children. Call it the unofficial American dream, even though everyone’s journey is unique in its own way. The story of my friend, Nancy Lee, is an example of some of those steps being put into action.

When Nancy’s parents emigrated from China, Napa was clearly the best city to become their home. Nancy finished all of her schooling in Napa and graduated from Vintage High and attended Napa Valley College as well. After transferring to University of California, Santa Barbara, Nancy adapted well due to the school, but missed home.

Being away from her grandmother was particularly difficult and with that, Nancy decided to volunteer at a local assisted-living community. Nancy quickly realized how much she enjoyed spending time with the residents.

After graduating college, the next step for Nancy was finding a job where her talents could be applied. After returning home to Napa, Nancy realized she’d love to have a career using her talents. Fortunately, Aegis of Napa had an opening as an activities assistant. It was a win/win for both.

Nancy got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Brandon Gelow and Nancy shared her shopping for a wedding dress with six ladies who live at Aegis. It was a sweet stroll down memory lane for the former brides, who married long before Nancy was born.

Walt Disney is someone Nancy admires and one of her favorite quotes is “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that in mind, Nancy made the bittersweet decision to join the new Aegis Gardens in Seattle as the activities director. Nancy is fluent in Cantonese, which is a big advantage due to many of her residents are of Chinese decent.

Jennifer Z. Winters