We’ve asked some family members of former Tam residents to say a few words about their experience.

Thank you to Kira and David for responding with such meaningful words and memories of Erma!

It wasn’t simply a change of address. For my strong, independent mother in law Erma Swaim, a move from the house she lived in for 50+ years and the thought of leaving the town where she raised her only son held significance that I still don’t fully claim to understand.

With the smiles and unconditional love of her two grandbabies waiting for her in San Anselmo, she begrudgingly heeded our advice and packed up her belongings to live with us. With our house set up on a hill and the busy lives we led, she felt isolated and homesick. We knew that moving her into our house was too big of a leap for her. She needed her own space. Her own community. A place that she could call her new home. But she also could no longer live alone.

The Tam House was the refuge we had all been seeking. A place to gather with elders of her age, to share the daily communal meal, to swap stories and spend hours in the garden talking about back home. Solitude after an exhausting yet fun filled day with her granddaughters. A place that she could still feel like Erma and not simply a new, added responsibility to her son and his family. It gave her the independence she needed and gave us the dependence and sense of peace we needed.

Years passed and Erma began to call the Tam House home. She had found a place where she could care for others and they her. We don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t found the Tam House. Her true home will always be the town she came from but I’m sure she relishes in the memories of the Tam House and swaps a story or two while looking down on us from above.


{We welcome your story of what Tam House means to You}