In speaking to the oldest and wisest, there is a subject that always comes up.
It’s a subject which is TABOO in American culture. I won’t even say the word.
Maybe you can guess what it is?
This subject came up most recently in my conversation with Bernie, 90.
He first shared great advice about taking the time to create a plan that encompasses career AND family… and making sure you are super diligent about sticking to your plan.
“Once you set your philosophy, life unfolds accordingly.”
Then he touched on something which I think is so important to hear while you are still young:
In the midst of all you have to do today…can you take the time to appreciate your partner?
Bernie’s wife passed away in 2015.
“I miss my Sally. There’ll never be another woman in my life. You learn to live alone.”
I asked how losing his wife impacted him.
“There’s sadness. Having a wife is a wonderful thing. You have your ups and downs but when they’re gone, there’s a void there.”
Bernie remembered their last moment.
“We went to bed at night. The next day I woke up and she didn’t.
“Until you have an experience like that, you don’t realize how it happens.
“You assume if you wake up, the other person will wake up. That didn’t happen.
“It’s an unreal situation. You can’t envision that looking forward. You don’t think of the end. When the end comes, it’s a shocker.”
But even when you lose someone you loved so much, you can turn that loss into everyone’s gain.
Bernie and Sally’s daughter, Mara, has dedicated her life to honoring her mother’s memory.
She described how her mom was “the ultimate Glammy.”
“Regardless of where she was going, she always cared about her appearance and was beautifully dressed and accessorized head to toe.
“She was a huge influence in my developing my own sense of style and my decision to pursue a career in fashion.”
Mara has spent the last 25 years in the jewelry business.
Before her mom died, Mara tried to give her mom one of those medical alert devices that elders wear for safety.
If they fall, they push a button and call for help.
It’s one of the many sad symbols that come with getting old.
Mara’s mom said, “Mara you have been in the jewelry business over 25 years. Can’t you make me something beautiful to wear in case of an emergency?”
In other words, does getting older have to be such a downer?
Can getting older come with its own style and grace?
YES IT CAN!
Mara was inspired to create Trelawear.
She transformed these formerly ugly medical alert devices into beautifully designed jewelry so that aging has its own kind of elegance.
Mara is a few days away from the launch of Trelawear, which shines a beautiful light on the oldest and wisest.
“I am fulfilling the promise I made to my mom.”
But this is also about what you do with your memories.
To anyone out there missing a loved one…take the memories that weigh you down with heavy emotion…
And today, everyday, turn them into something meaningful and powerful.
My rabbi speaks of the phrase “nachat ruach” which means ease of spirit.
It’s a moment a loved one feels when they rejoice in a job well done…having raised a child or disciple well.
“And this ‘ease of spirit’ transcends the grave. You can give this feeling to deceased loved ones by remembering them.
“By telling them how grateful you are for all they gave you, for all the sacrifices they made for you.
“You give them this feeling by living up to the values they sought to instill in you, by treasuring the legacy they left you, by sharing the wisdom they taught you with others.”
In honor of Sally Rotsky who must be so proud of her daughter, may we all feel as beautiful and elegant in our older years as we did in our younger ones.
If you agree that elders deserve to get older with elegance and grace, check out and support Trelawear