Do you know an amazing senior citizen? Perhaps you are one! I love working with seniors. I love hearing their stories, and I love sharing their stories. Today, I want to share a story about an amazing senior — Rebecca Danigelis.
A Journey of Self Discovery
Rebecca is from Boston where she worked faithfully every day for 40 years, until she was unexpectedly fired from her job. You might be able to relate to the devastation that comes from job loss or any other loss that leaves you feeling lost. Alone. Devastated. Surely, Rebecca felt all those things when she was fired. The grief of losing her job and her “work family” took a toll on Rebecca, and she began to feel as if she was sinking.
Enter her son, Sian-Pierre Regis. A journalist by trade, he knew the only thing he could do for his mom was to tell her story. He wanted to lift her spirits and help her to focus on something other than the despair of losing her job. He came up with an idea. A great idea! He would take her on a journey. A journey to do all the things she never could do before because she worked every day of her life. Sian-Pierre encouraged her to write her own bucket list and so the journey began.
Living Life to the Fullest
Rebecca’s bucket list contained various fun things, like taking a hip-hop lesson, joining Instagram, and milking a cow in Vermont. Did I mention that she parachuted out of a plane while visiting in Hawaii? She also visited her sister’s grave in England. She’d missed her funeral because she’d been working and couldn’t get anyone to cover her shift. According to her son, Sian-Pierre, there is a spirit within his 75-year-old mom that has never shone so bright. In many respects, she is younger than ever.
There is so much more to Rebecca’s story. More than I can share. But, if you can relate to the pain and poignancy of aging and the triumphs of overcoming loss and despair, you’ll enjoy learning more about Rebecca’s journey in the upcoming documentary, “Duty-Free,” based on her story.
The film examines ageism, the care crisis, and economic insecurity in America. If you are concerned about who will care for you, or your parent and grandparents, be sure to watch the upcoming film. Raise questions in your own community and work toward solutions that will benefit our seniors for all generations.