It wasn’t until a few years ago that my mother told me stories about going to a ranch every summer when she was a child.
She’d make herself a sandwich, hop on a horse named Dusty, and ride off into the hills, not to be heard of again until dinnertime.
I couldn’t believe I’d never heard these stories before. Hearing her tell them revealed a whole new depth to her I’d never suspected, and an inner strength and sense of purpose I’d never realized traced back so far.
I began asking her questions about other blanks I had in her childhood, and the conversations we had enriched us both—her through the telling, and me through seeing our lives, together and independently, in a completely different context.
Bringing that context helped both of us trace pain and joy that has taken root in our own lives in ways we never expected and helped both of us go to a new depth in our own understandings of ourselves and each other. We have become much closer from these experiences.
This has led to a passion for helping people transform their lives by looking deeply at what they’ve experienced and helping them recontextualize what they’ve lived through.
I also believe in helping families see what psychological patterns and habits they’ve inherited from past generations so they can live healthier lives in the present.
Helping older generations create a living history of their lives is a priceless gift not only to them, but to their children and the generations to come. What wisdom and insight are we losing every single day as our elders’ lives slip quietly away? What fascinating lenses on history, on personal perseverance, on cultural beliefs and values, are we throwing away in our cultural obsession with youth?
These are the types of questions that led me to start my ghostwriting project, within which I bring to life the stories and experiences of our elders with an eye to what they can pass on to all of us.
For Dr. Silverman’s book, Work Before Play, that journey led to hours—weeks—months—spent with a gentleman living in assisted living. It led to laughter and tears. It led to long lunches filled with fish (I can still hear him say “Dammit! I hate salmon!”), vegetables, and cake and ice cream (with chocolate sauce!). It led to a deep, respectful relationship between the generations and a healing experience for two souls from two very different worlds.
We both looked forward to our time together every week as one of the highlights of our lives. The perspectives and insights on living, loving, and grieving I learned from him will stay with me for the rest of my life.
If you or someone you love would like to bring such a document to life, contact me. I will bring all the passion, respect, and love to you or your person that I brought to Dr. Silverman and my own mother to make a permanent record of your life and/or your deep thoughts for your family, and also for the insights it provides into our culture and society.
I can help you make that dream come true!