Monday, February 26, 2018

Coming Full Circle

"We never know from one day to the next what surprise lurks around the corner."
  ~ Joy Loverde, Who Will Take Care of Me When I'm Old 

I know, heaven knows I know, what Joy is talking about.  From the major surprises like disease, death, or natural disasters to the minor surprises like a garage door that suddenly won't open or a burst water pipe or a flat tire, we never know.  But we also never know when we'll meet someone who will change the course of our lives or pick up a book that gives us the answer we've been looking for for months.  Or, as happened to me last week, the information that I made a difference in someone's life who continues to make a far greater difference than I ever could have made.

Joy is an old friend. We go back over 25 years.  More than a friend, more like a much younger sister or the daughter I never had or would have been proud to have had.  There was a day when she asked to come in for a coaching session as she wanted to talk about a career change.  A change from the marketing career at which she was skilled, experienced and successful.  A change to something that would use those skills for something that made a bigger difference than promoting someone else's product or business.

I remember that conversation as though it happened yesterday.  I've shared the experience of it many times in coachings and trainings in the years that followed.  I asked Joy only one question.  "What issues are you passionate about - in what arena would you like to make a difference?" She answered quickly - "The way children are treated and the way old people are treated."  I then suggested she go home and choose the one she would like to focus on and think about how she could apply her skills and talents to the problems she saw.

It was as simple as that.  She returned shortly saying she had chosen to approach the issue of eldercare and knew exactly how she might carve out a new career.  What followed was her first book, The Complete Elder Care Planner, speaking engagements, workshops,  consulting and ultimately recognition as a major contributor in the growing eldercare advisory industry.

Fast forward to a week ago.  I was searching for a book, any book that might address the overwhelm I was feeling about a future without my husband.  The perfect book appeared, at least the title suggested that it might be.  As though the author could read my mind - Who Will Take Care of Me When I'm Old.  And the author - Joy Loverde, my Joy.  

I downloaded it immediately and started to read it.  Exactly as I expected, it is well-written, well-researched, clear and compassionate.  But what I didn't expect was to find my name in her acknowledgments.  After all these years.  I didn't expect the tears, gratitude, and the profound sense of satisfaction and delight that almost overwhelmed me.  To know that I had influenced someone who now influences so many others and will continue to do so.  And that I am now a recipient of what was set in motion in that simple conversation long ago.  We have come full circle.  And that knowledge, in itself, may be more important to me than anything in the book.

*If you found this helpful or know someone who might, please share and like my page.


  1. What a wonderful tribute...and a lovely gift. She took her "talents" that you helped her uncover--and she went out and multiplied them many-fold--as so well exemplified by her mentor--you!