Like many of us, Juanita Rea and her brothers Bill Webb and EC Webb will get together Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Unlike many of us, these siblings are in their 90s.
EC is 97, Bill is 95, Juanita is 93 and the trio plan to enjoy the Thanksgiving spread at Fox Ridge assisted living facility in North Little Rock.
Helping to arrange all of this is Juanita's daughter, Kathleen Rea, who, along with her husband Tim Hood, will join her mom and uncles on Thursday. Bill, who was living in Maumelle, moved to Fox Ridge in March and Juanita has only been there a few weeks. EC still lives at his home in Little Rock.
"He was going to be on his own for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to get him and bring him to Fox Ridge and they will all get to have Thanksgiving dinner there," Kathleen says.
In the past they have gathered at Kathleen's house for Thanksgiving, but it's been a few years since that has happened, she says.
Still, the trio has been able meet up and visit. They share birth dates within a few days of each other -- Oct. 2 for EC, Oct. 9 for Bill and Oct. 11th for Juanita -- and were together last month for a party at EC's home with food prepared by his daughter, Lizz Chambers of Yorktown, Va.
"She is a fabulous cook and she flew in and cooked up a wonderful meal," Rea says. "That was the first time we'd had a birthday party together. We had a really nice time."
They were also joined by their younger sister, Ruth Huffstutlar.
Juanita and her siblings grew up on a farm near England, Kathleen says, and are all very close.
"It was out in the country. They were cotton farmers and rather poor. It was a hard life."
EC is a veteran of the Marines and Navy and served during WWII and the Korean War. Bill had a career in the Navy and Juanita married and raised three children in North Little Rock.
Kathleen returned to North Little Rock in 2004 after earning her doctorate in biomedical engineering from Tulane University to be close to her mom.
"I needed to be here for my family," she says. "I knew what I wanted to do with my life career wise and family wise. I worked at UAMS then branched out and started a business of my own. That was all geared to being able to stay in North Little Rock where my mom lived and to be close to my uncles."
After closing her business, Regeneration Fitness, she has taken on consulting work and is able to focus more on caring for Juanita, Bill and EC.
Her mom is looking forward to Thursday, says Kathleen.
"She's excited that we're bringing EC to her and to see where she is living and what it's like. I think that they all just really cherish the chance to see each other as often as they can."