An Atlanta centenarian had her birthday wish come true when Bernice King joined the 102-year-old for her celebration.
Clara “Mama” Bridges enjoyed her big day in style and had two wishes: get a chili dog from a well-known Atlanta fast food restaurant, The Varsity, and meet the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., WSB-TV reports.
Ms. Bridges went to nursing school and worked 33 years as a nurse, including her tenure as a pediatric nurse at Grady Hospital. While at the hospital, she encountered Dr. King when he was just a teenager.
“It meant everything to me, just to see her smile. It’s a smile to me and I know he’s just laughing up there,” Bernice King told the news outlet, referring to her iconic father, an Atlanta native.
“I look back over my life, and I [often] ask myself, ‘Have I lived my life that was given to me to live?,'” Ms. Bridges said. “Cause [it’s] a lot [of us] who [would] take someone else’s life and live, but I wanted mine.”
“Whenever somebody this age calls, God’s speaking,” said Ms. King about Ms. Bridges’ wish to meet her. “I hope we don’t take this moment for granted or lightly.”
Ms. Briges is a resident of a senior community that was once owned by Atlanta’s housing authority, Atlanta Housing, where she has lived since 1976 as its first Black resident.
“Mama Bridges represents the best of Atlanta, our state and our region,” said Eugene E. Jones, Jr., president and CEO of Atlanta Housing. “We are privileged and honored to still have her in our lives, and the love and compassion she shares is a living example for us all.”