How did you arrive at such a title?
A. It's really an attitude of the older, depression
era generation. It means they don't buy green bananas because
they're not sure they'll be alive when they ripen - and they
don't want to waste the money if they can't eat them all.
Q. Now, I understand that the cover of your book was actually
painted by a former client.
A. Yes, she just about begged me to let her
do the cover - because she said "that way she would become immortal."
This painting arrived a few weeks later and it's perfect. I
love the subtle "noose" around the "neck" of the bunch of bananas.
Q. These stories are actual experiences you've had with
clients. How do you stand doing this job every day? It is so
emotionally charged. Do you ever get depressed?
A. I can't say I get depressed but sometimes
I feel like filing for "emotional bankruptcy". About 30% of
our clients do not have any family to help them with their day-to-day
problems and I become their surrogate decision maker. We give
them peace of mind because they know that someone who they know,
trust, and is well informed as to their wishes is there to step
in when needed.
Q. What were your original goals when you started your business?
A. To preserve autonomy, and prevent premature
institutionalization of our older population.
Q. What were your goals when you wrote the book?
A. My first goal was to meet Oprah! Seriously,
I wanted to introduce the idea of laughing - at yourself and
the indignities of aging. It helps you get past the bumps in
the road. The book is about some extraordinary people I've had
the privilege to know, their experiences, and how humor made
a difference in our relationship and their problems.
Q. What particular audience does the book appeal to?
A. It's a good resource for the professionals
who deal with the older population; also for the older generation
because they can relate to others who have aging or family issues;
and for the Boomer generation because they need to understand
better what it's like in their aging world and the problems
that arise, how to be sensitive to them and to find humor in
day to day problems.