By Anna Ortigara / Posted on October 18th, 2012
It is not a story until it is told.
Each elder is rich in life stories just waiting to be heard. Three elders from Porter Hills Green House homes came and shared their stories at the 5th Annual Green House Meeting and Celebration in early September at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids, MI. Elders, Ota Champaign, Betty Hechman, and Shirley Farley agreed to talk about their current lives in the homes. And I hoped to hear the rich nuances of Green House life. Indeed they shared the joys of reading books in real privacy in their own bedroom. And knowing staff and other elders deeply and with real affection is a meaningful part of each day. Ota spends almost unlimited time in the garden, right now getting the garden ready for winter…
But almost immediately the conversation moved to the stories of their lives, to the experiences and adventures of lives well lived. Educators all, memories of teaching Macbeth to high school students in Detroit, traveling across the country and finding teaching positions to support deep wanderlust, or working in post-war Tokyo for General MacArthur were the adventures of these women’s lives. I am honored they agreed to share their journeys with all of us.
Thank you Ota Champaign, Betty Hechman and Shirley Farley!