Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrating a 104th Birthday

My friend, Victor, who I have written about in an earlier blog, turned 104 in November. As remarkable as he is for his age, he does have quite a few limitations in his life right now. Last year he and I read through my entire manuscript of Celebrating Beginnings and Endings, with him acting as editor. I read out loud, as he has macular degeneration and can't see well enough to read himself. In the book, I talk about a formula for figuring out how to make a celebration. When I thought about Victor I didn't know what to do for him for his birthday, so I asked him if we could work with my formula and see what happens. As usual he was very willing to partake in the adventure.

My INTENTION was clear - how to do something special for Victor to celebrate his birthday.

We EXPLORED a lot about Victor by me asking many questions
-eating habits
-what gives him pleasure now
-music preferences
-he loves to listen to NPR
-noticing his limitations
-his enjoyment of family and friends visiting

Through this process, an idea emerged so I could think about PLANNING. My father-in-law had died recently and our family family spent everyday of his last days giving him a massage. He loved the gentle touch of hands which helped to keep his lymphatic system moving. I asked Victor if he had ever had a massage and was he interested in one. He said that sounded great. I contacted my massage therapist to see if she was interested in working on him. She was delighted at the thought. I asked the owner of home where Victor was living if she thought that was a good idea and she concurred. Then I told Victor and he said that sounded like a good idea.

I was pleased that Victor would work with me and the formula, and that we could come up with an idea that pleased us both.

You can find more about the formula and ideas on Having a tool to help mark your own special moments in life will add meaning to those occasions that beg for a spotlight. The formula works!