Friday, December 08, 2006

Being There

“Isn’t it enough simply to be?”

An older gentleman asked me this question a few weeks ago during a workshop I was conducting for the Society on Aging of New Jersey.

“Yes,” I answered. "It's enough."

The worth of a human life isn’t measured by one’s achievements. A few generations hence, it’s likely no one will remember what we accomplished. Yet even as I write these words, I realize that I sometimes forget this. I forget that defying gravity isn’t about pulling ahead in the final stretch--as if life were a race to be won. It’s about having the courage to follow our hearts and understanding that sometimes the most courageous thing we can do is to take no action at all.

My friend Norma Larsen (see photo above) died last week. I couldn’t care less what she did or didn’t achieve in her life. She was a beautiful, gentle soul; and I loved her.


  1. Anonymous2:36 PM

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  2. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Thank you. Prill for this opportunity to explore feelings and ideas openly. As I write this, new feelings arise that may fill that empty hole inside of me. Some will work and others won't. I need to be part of a mentor/friendship group here in Oakland County, MI.

    Talking about defying gravity, it is true that in the 1970's the image of a woman was to be mother, wife and community involved person. Even though my parents wanted to see me go to college, it just wasn't strong enough for me. Many other factors were involved in the decision not to attend college. When listening to the success of others in the baby boomer generation, college was a big plus to achieving their successes. I am a hands on, learn as you go person which means it takes more time to learn what others did through college and mentoring.

    In 1972, I found myself (22 years old) six months into a marriage living with a husband who would never walk again. Thankfully he just became a school teacher which gave him a sense of identity and income provider. That same day I found out that was there is a baby on the way. The topping on the cake was my mother died of cancer when my son turned two years old. Maybe I should have started a group called: Caregivers Anonymous.

    When my son turned three, I divorced his father and went to work as a "guru" of the personal computer age. Learning administrative, organizing and computer skills have given me the skills needed to help the senior population.

    Eleven years ago I found a great husband who supports my travel down the road to find my true calling. While he was still working for Ford Motor Co., I left full time to work with seniors assisting with their moving and declutter needs. To share the knowledge of the types of products and services available to caregivers, I wrote a book "Calming the Chaos of Aging". This book was as much for me as the readers. Add a great son, daughter in law and two grandchildren, feeling an empty hole inside of me should be not there.

    My new challenge is losing eyesight. Still very independent I am getting disability checks at "legally blind" (not blind) and no longer able to drive. I needed to pave a new road in order to network with others. Again, the computer and organizing skills took over.

    There is an empty hole inside of me that wants to become part of a mentoring/friendship group of women also. With the skills of computer, love of organizing for the elderly, this is just not enough. There is something inside yet untaped.

    It occurred to me that while I can still see, why not explore adding my love for bed and breakfasts to the list of other skills. What if I joined with others to visit B&B's around the country and evaluate them. Maybe form a service that gives baby boomers known places to relax, get massages, and add independent seniors to this list. The more minds, the more ideas. Take an existing idea and create a new twist to it. The fun this could be. If anyone has another idea, please email me at