FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Members of the Family
You are receiving this newsletter on the day of
the 110th Fearless Caregiver Conference. The event
is hosted in Boca Raton and I look forward to (or am
in the middle of) a great day of celebration, wisdom
sharing and community with the area’s family and
professional caregivers. We will also be honored
with the presence of a handful of our
Friendly Award Winners. Yet, one of the faces that I
always look forward to seeing at our South Florida
events will, for the first time in 16 years, not be
in the audience.
I grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida and
remember many of those who lived on my street as
being part of one big family—an extended family of
uncles and aunts, if you will. Each of them
(for a little kid) having definitive personalities.
There was fun and funny Mr. Jack, who owned gift stores on Miami
Beach, Uncle Herbie, a cohort of the
renowned drummer Buddy Rich and was (if you could
call anyone this in the 60’s) the beatnik with the
greatest records in the neighborhood. Uncle Billy
owned a women’s swimwear (cool) company and drove an
Austin Healy (even more cool, James Bond’s car). I
never did find the secret weapon switches in his
car. Just down the street lived Aunt Gilda,
full of bawdy jokes and big smiles, and her husband,
Uncle Jerry, who owned restaurants and always made
even a kid feel important.
As members of this community moved on and the
houses became inhabited by at least a few more
generations of kids, I know that they were all
extremely important to helping me become who I am
today. I honor them all and think it is important
for professional caregivers to remember that every
client or resident was once an Uncle Herbie, Mr.
Jack, Uncle Billy, Aunt Gilda or Uncle Jerry.
Each and every one of my parents’ friends as I
was growing up will always inhabit a special part of
my soul and I am thankful to them all.
June 28, 1919 - July 6, 2011