Today, February 20, 2016, is my first talk and “Sifting through Gold” book signing. It takes place at our wonderful local bookstore, Rakestraw Books in Danville, CA. The event will officially launch this book, our website and introduce readers to five precious women elder friends who have inspired and mentored me for many years. I feel excited to be talking about this project that began nearly three years ago when my cell phone rang as I was shopping for children’s clothes in Target. I learned that my dear eighty-eight year old friend in Montana was badly injured after falling in in her cabin. “She might not make it,” her concerned daughter confided. I was stunned. I always thought there would be more time to talk, to ask questions and fill in her story.
More time. Sometimes, we run out of time. We get an emergency call and it’s too late.
Thankfully, Jan did recover and after several months in rehab, she returned home to her beloved cabin in the woods. Over the next eighteen months, I asked her to share her stories with me and answer questions about love, turning points, resilience, and death. Her hand written notes, photographs, artworks, and poems form the first section of this book. Later, I had conversations with four additional elder women friends and their information is contained in the remaining chapters.
I’m realizing that the most important thing I want to share today, is this--reach out to the special women elders who have inspired and mentored you. Let them know that they matter and how important they are to you. Ask them to tell you about their lives and what matters most after having lived a long time. Find the time and begin the conversation—soon!
It was their gold that I found as I sifted through the words and images these women so honestly and generously shared with me. It is to them that this book is dedicated.
May wise women elders everywhere be honored and given an opportunity to tell their stories. May we listen and learn from what they say.