Lurline Martineau is an 86-year-old retired dressmaker. Born in Grenada, she immigrated from the Caribbean island to the United States in 1956. However, Lurline’s ancestral roots are in India, where her grandfather was a rice planter. She is one of eight siblings – seven girls and one boy.
Currently, Lurline lives in Coney Island, in a townhouse that was brand new when she and her husband bought it 36 years ago. Lurline is now a widow, living alone in the house.
“I’m creative, so I could do a lot of things,” Lurline explained emphatically. “I don’t get bored.”
Though Lurline is often sidelined by the aches and pains of aging, she stays busy at home gardening, cooking and writing her memoirs.
Like many writers, she is also an avid reader. In fact, Lurline is inseparable from her Kindle, which her son keeps supplied with her favorite genre of books – mysteries and spy novels.
Lurline is a member of the Siloam Presbyterian Church, where she served as an ordained elder and deacon. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she now attends services via Zoom every Sunday morning.
A friend at church who had cancer died at Kings County Hospital after contracting the virus, she lamented. Aside from that case, no one in her circle of family and friends fell victim to the deadly virus.
Lurline didn’t panic when the pandemic reached New York City.
“I didn’t have any fear because I did everything the health department advised seniors to do – stay at home. I have nowhere to go. I’m alone,” Lurline said, adding that she feels as though she has “been in quarantine since her husband died in 1996.”
Lurline’s daughter lives next door and brings groceries to her. Still, she felt isolated during the lockdown because she couldn’t have face-to-face visits with her children and grandchildren. Lurline recalled that her son, who lives in Syracuse, came to her house for a surprise visit on Mother’s Day. However, he had to stand in her front yard for safety concerns.
According to Lurline, the pandemic brought out the best human qualities in some people. She also thought highly of how Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept the public informed but criticized the incompetence of other elected officials.
“There are good people in this world,” she said, expressing her optimism about what lies ahead. “But the future all depends on the leaders of this country.”