Posted on October 30th, 2009
By: Beverly Bernstein-Joie, MS, CMC
President, Elder Connections
It is said that we see our own aging in the faces of our friends. No matter how hard we try, the evidence becomes hard to avoid.
Geriatric Care Managers Face Their Own Aging
As a geriatric care manager, I am surrounded with the life stories of many brave souls facing similar challenges and all on the same journey, myself and other geriatric care managers included.
So, thank goodness for an experience that challenges complacency and resignation. On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, I attended my first Bruce Springsteen concert. There we were with thousands of folks, most over 50, enveloped with so much more than music. We were witnessing the possibility of aging.
At 60 years of age, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band expressed more vitality, raw energy, and visceral life force that any group I have ever seen. Their impact on the world of music is only surpassed by their impact on generations of fans from baby boomers like myself to the new generation. Take for example, the story reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer about Jeanne Mooney, 83. In middle age, Jeanne lost her daughter, husband, and son within 7 years. She attributes Springsteen’s music to saving her life. Jeanne and other fans of any age see the man as ” a savior, a teller of tales about starting over again.” Springsteen offers “redemption and hope”.
A New Vision of Aging
The audience, my fellow concert-goers, gave me a new vision of my peers. There were grown, gray-haired men dancing with one another. There was a crowd of people on their feet grooving for almost 3 hours – my husband and myself included. But what prevailed was the joy and hope of being alive and moving forward in life. Bruce expressed that as long as we embrace life and support one another, we are provided endless possibilities. This is what it looks like to be 60. My old stories of aging were challenged and evaporated for the moment. And as Bruce has said in one of his lyrics, “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.”
From One Baby Boomer to Another
Thanks Bruce, for helping this aging baby boomer tap into her own vitality and joy! After all, your shared self-expression allows us to experience our own possibilities for a life that can be reinvented by our own intentions. Age will never affect our soul’s expression of itself. And do I hear an “Amen”?