Welcome to our new name, our new look, and our new website! I know this sounds a bit self-serving, but I love our new name and new look. It brings to mind images of fall; my very favorite season. Fall triggers memories of my children getting ready to go back to school and the feelings of anxiety, excitement anticipating the joyous potential of the upcoming school year. It fills my dreams with crisp mornings, sweater weather, picking apples and playing in leaf piles.
My children are long grown and are now busy creating those same memories with their children. Despite now living in a childless home, I refuse to give up on the joy of picking apples, playing in leaf piles and enjoying those crisp fall morning by sitting on my porch and watching the red and yellow leaves fall to the waiting ground. I am lucky for I now get to enjoy these things with my 87 year old father and 80 year old mother.
Having been blessed with the opportunity to care for those who have so lovingly cared for me, makes me think of fall. Staring the final few years of life in its face is just like staring into the face of that new school year. The future is filled with anxiety about the unknown, excitement of what is yet to come and daydreaming of all the things we can still do before we have to say that final goodbye.
Today, I am sharing a picture of my 87 year old father who climbed up into a tree when we were cherry picking. I had to step away for a moment and told him, just like I used to tell my children, please wait here for me and don’t get into trouble. And just like my children, he did not listen!
I am sharing this because I believe this is a perfect metaphor for LifePath. We want to help all older adults see that there is still joy to experience, that we can still let our inner child out, even if we have arthritis, even if we have been diagnosed with heart disease, even if we sleep poorly due to neuropathy.
Our realities change as we age, many of our capacities decline, but our spirit, our imagination, our ability to find joy is controlled by our attitude. What I wish for all of you is that you are able to release the attitude of the child within; for that will help you age well and manage all the things that final phase of life has in store for you.
— Monika Boeckmann, Executive Director LifePath