Whispers - Are you listening?
This month I share with you a recent occasion when I heard and heeded a whisper from my inner voice and, for the rest of my life, will be grateful that I did. An association with which I am affiliated had arranged for 95 year old Olga Kotelko to be the guest speaker. I knew I HAD to meet her, and was privileged to have time together before and after the luncheon. It was a special connection, as if we had known each other all of our lives.
Olga began her Track and Field journey at age 77, travelling around the world and winning over 750 gold medals. She inspired the audience with her stories, her humour, and her discipline. With the support of Roxanne Davies, she had just completed her book (Olga: The O.K. Way to a Healthy, Happy Life) which was then en route by truck to Vancouver from the printer. As I travelled back home after the luncheon I was already planning in my mind to bring her to White Rock to speak.
Stunned, I received a call from Roxanne on June 24 - Olga had died that morning from a brain hemorrhage. A few days ago I attended Olga's memorial with over 300 people at St. Mary's Ukrainian Church in Vancouver. It was a fitting 'send-off' for this five foot, soft-spoken indomitable spirit! Officiating were two Bishops and six Priests, and afterwards at the luncheon (with a vast menu of Ukrainian food) her family gifted each of us with one of Olga's medals.
The focus of my mentoring, along with compassionate care, is to support people in having a 'Forever Young at Heart' attitude, each and every day of their lives, and to see that their life has purpose. Yes, growing older happens, but as Olga wrote in her book, "I learned early on to focus less on my age and more on how I age. With a little practice and perseverance we can all take pleasure in the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of well-being." I know I will blend much of what I learned from meeting Olga, and now from her book, into my 'Forever Young' mentoring, and therefore keep her positive spirit alive.
May I encourage you to listen to, and follow up on, the whispers of your heart and, as I concluded in last month's Moment on Ageless Beauty and Maya Angelou: "... be a light to yourself ... especially as you age" ... enjoy your journey, with grace. I encourage you to read Olga's book (which is now available from Amazon or through the 'Suggested Reading' page on my website).
Until next time...
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada