Stories shape our world

To align with my purpose of helping seniors, I’m proud to announce that I’m donating 50% of my book royalties to the Alzheimer’s Association through December 31st, 2021.

From the time we are young, we’re born to love stories. They teach us about life, they inform our decisions, and they help us understand our desires and passions. After publishing my book I See Old People, I realize there are stories left to be written and people who need encouragement to write them.

Noah and his Vet dad

Often times we’re meant to meet people who tell us a narrative that gives us just what we need to hear. Or conversely, we meet people who need to hear what we have to say.

Because I’m an open book (no pun intended), it’s easy for me to find people who engage with me. While vacationing with my husband Joe on the big island of Hawaii, I met such a young man. He was working at the resort’s surf shack as one of the Kainalu pros. He also happens to be a surf instructor.

Animated and joking about how uncoordinated I am in the water, I could tell he was bemused by my personality and that made him a “perfect victim” for a long chat. His name is Noah and he’s the type of person who makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the room, or shall I say, on the beach.

With an easy, mellow smile and eyes that stare directly into yours with a look that says, “I dig your energy,” I wanted to learn more about him. Tall, blonde, blue-eyed, with a slim athletic build, he looked like a true California surfer. Naturally curious about finding out what makes people tick while capturing a story, I instantly wanted to know more.

Turns out, Noah had an incredible story to tell and was all too happy to tell it. A native Hawaiian, whose father hailed from Connecticut, he was one of 7 children. At 42 years young, he was living the life he always wanted – free to be one with nature, the ocean, the sun, and people who wanted to learn how to navigate the ocean waters.

His father was a Vietnam vet who decided to use his training to earn a medical degree in veterinary medicine. When a friend mentioned there was a position open for a vet on the island of Lanai, he encouraged his young bride to take the leap of faith. They did and his dad became the ONLY vet on the entire island.

It was there he raised his children and Noah was the youngest. His dad cared and nursed all of the critters on the island – from horses to goats to birds of all species – almost like the doctor Doolittle for the large massive ecosystem. Noah’s eyes opened wider when he began to explain all of the wonderful things his father did and how his work shaped the future of the island – for the animals and the vets who came after him.

Sadly Noah revealed that his father died in a plane crash in 2010. A commercial pilot, he was not instrument trained. He flew during some bad weather and lost his way and crashed into a mountain. Noah was just 26 years old.

Riveted by every detail, I told Noah he should write a book about his dad, the history of the island, and staying true to his passion. It would be full of adventure, love, passion, intrigue and inspiration for those who dream big. It was then that I knew that I met Noah for a reason.

I gave him a copy of my book with an inscription that read, “Everyone has a story and your story inspired me. I hope my story inspires you to write yours.”

I See Old People is available on Amazon for purchase. Jeanne is also available for podcasts and public speaking engagements. You can contact her directly here. Donate directly to the Alzheimer’s Association here: #Bekindtour.

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