I began the Amazing Care Network back in 2014, and I am sometimes asked what prompted me to start it. Among the catalysts for its creation dates to 2008 when my older brother was rapidly declining from cancer. I found one of my notes during those tough days and realized that Amazing Care was already in my head then and waiting to be created. My note follows:

December 15, 2008

I’ve been thinking about my brother Willy and aging. Among the life lessons I’ve acquired is how important it is to maintain a social network of friends and family as we age. My brother is at home alone most days with only my sister-in-law as company. From what he tells me, he has no close friends with whom he can hang out. So, he has no one to share concerns or discuss a book or exchange funny stories. His world has become exceedingly narrow and confined. No wonder he’s depressed. Survival is a group effort, and rarely do individuals make it alone.

As I get older, I have to work even harder to keep alive and strong my network of family and friends and work colleagues. I have to invest in those relationships, as they do not flourish without care (meaning visits, time to sit down and be with one another, letters, phone calls. . . all the ways I connect with others.)

Another lesson is to be engaged intellectually with others. Sterling gives me such an outlet as do my nonprofit boards. I need to keep that up for as long as I possibly can. Such involvement engages my intellect and forces me to sharpen my intellectual capacity.

Ultimately, it boils down to exercising my choice about how I age. I know that in time, my body will fall apart, and I won’t be able to do all the things I’m doing now. Until that day happens, I’m resolved to live life as passionately as I can and to be connected with people. I need to work on developing new friendships, a much tougher challenge as I age. And I need to take care of my physical and emotional health, so I can age with strength and grace.

With warm wishes,