Only the Lucky Grow Old by Kristine Fontaine.
Aging is a privilege denied to many… When you look at an older adult, what do you see? Have you ever stopped to think they were once young? What tales could they tell? What were their triumphs and tragedies? To be graced with the good fortune of growing old is something I think many of us take for granted.
As a Physical Therapist for over thirty-two years, I have worked with countless older adults who I’ve admired and found fascinating. This book will take you through the lives of twenty-two amazing individuals over the age of ninety. Their “ordinary” stories are extraordinary. As a therapist, I also wish to share what I have learned about arthritis and aging. There are proactive measures you can take now to help as you transition into and through the “Golden Years”.
Woven throughout are some of my own stories . . . anecdotes I hope you find amusing, as well as reflections on a variety of topics, life and spirituality included. May you find what is written on these pages educational, enjoyable, and inspirational.
5-Stars: America’s Greatest Generation!
Only The Lucky Grow Old by Kristine Fontaine, contains not only reflections on life from those over ninety, but is an inspiring collection of life, thoughts, gratitude, faith, hope, and perseverance from the author. Kristine writes from her heart and weaves a masterpiece of American nonagenarians and centenarians life stories. Historians’ agree that this is America’s Greatest Generation.
With deep respect for Author and Physical Therapist Kristine Fontaine, it has been an honor to read and review Only The Lucky Grow Old. The interviews and photos in this book, reflect the life of nonagenarians and centenarians who live unnoticed and unappreciated in our face-paced, often self-centered society. These amazing interviews, bring a few of these everyday American heroes, out of the shadows. I guarantee, you will come away with a better understanding of history and life in America. Your heart will swell with pride and patriotism. Your mind and spirit will find peace from the negative influences that pound our airways and social media every day. Your soul will find a renewed faith in family, friends, faith, community, and purpose.
Here are some highlights from six of the interviews.
Joseph L. Aplante (December 18, 1023-95 Years Old): Joseph made me smile and I am certain he will bring a smile to your face. He was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts on December 18, 1923. He would be turning ninety-five years old four days from our interview. I told him he looked fantastic for ninety-five, as he surely did, and he replied, “Well, I do try to stay on top of everything.” Thank you as well Joe for your service to our country!
Lars Oscar Larsson (July 27, 1919-99 Years Old): Lars was believed to be the last surviving person who modeled for the 1941 mural, painted by Leon Kroll for the Worcester Memorial Auditorium.
Eugene Leblanc (October 11, 1926, 92 Years Old): This a love at first sight story.Eugene was happy when the War ended, and like others have told me, he needed so many points to be discharged. When he got one hundred and forty points, he was ready to go. They told him, however, that if he wanted to make a bit more money, he could take a run to Pearl Harbor, as that is where they were going to decommission the ship. I could get another stripe if I did that, and that meant twelve dollars a month more. No way in hell! I got my one hundred and forty points and said I’m getting out! I asked if he enjoyed his time in the Navy, and he said that he did, and had no regrets. He made some good friends in the service, and said that they always looked after one another.I would like to sincerely thank Eugene for taking the time to meet with me and for sharing his stories. His love at first site story, and his long, wonderful marriage I will not soon forget.
Rose (Mady) Heller (December 15, 1923-96 Years Old): Don’t miss this amazing story. Mady Heller was a spy growing up in Germany during Hitler. I would like to take this time thank Mady and her family for sitting down to talk with me. You have lived a full wonderful life that began with turmoil and tragedy, but you were resilient and overcame many difficulties. I found it quite impressive you took the initiative to join the service, to be able to help the country and take a stance against the Germany you once loved so much. Thank you so much for your service to our country. It was also my pleasure to have met Petey. Who rescued who indeed? Dogs give us what few have the capacity to do, love us unconditionally, and there is nothing greater in the world than that.
Anne Vajcovec (June 21, 1922-96 Years Old): Touching story. Auntie Anne used her nursing skills to care for the men coming off the battle field. Don’t miss out on the documented Virgin Mary sighting. Auntie Anne, you are an amazing woman. I am so lucky we are part of the same family. Much love to you, and thank you so very much for your service to our country.
Dot Barre (July 17, 1918-100 Years Old): Don’t let Dot’s contagious giggly nature fool you, she is a hero. Read how and why Dot receives a Quilt of Valor from three veterans. Dot spent three years in the service, two of which were spent overseas. When Dot returned to her hometown of Oxford in November of 1944, she was still in the service. She worked at Cushing Hospital in Framingham for about one year, at which time she left the service and went to work at the VA Hospital.
Quote From Author: “Only the lucky get old! Since initially hearing that statement, it has been my response more times than I can count every time someone offers up complaints about the aging process. Most every time, it makes the person pause for a second and consider my words. Where moments before they were feeling unhappy or depressed, their thought process changes. They suddenly realize perhaps they are one of the lucky ones to have entered the Golden Years.”
Epilogue: I loved reading Kristine Fontaine’s Epilogue and the information about Kristine. She leaves us with this. “It is only the lucky, that indeed do grow old! May God bless you all!”
I invite you to read all the griping life stories in Only The Lucky Grow Old by Kristine Fontaine. This is a great book to carry with you or have on your nightstand. Each person Kristine interviewed will seem like old, familiar, friends. I personally will return to this book again. I look forward to Author Kristine Fontaine’s next book.
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network)
Print Length: 440 Pages
Publisher: Independently published (April 8, 2020)
Non-Fiction (Christian Inspiration)
Message From The Author: I have been a Physical Therapist for 32 years and love what I do. I have worked as an outpatient therapist throughout my career, and have always enjoyed working with the elderly population. I love the stories they share about their lives, as well as their outlooks and wisdom. I had a fleeting thought one day about how neat it would be to have their stories recorded, but initially ignored it.
I have always enjoyed creative writing, but never had any desire to be an author…until about 2 years ago. The thought about creating a book out of the stories shared became something I found myself thinking more and more about. So much so that I finally made the decision to undertake the task of writing this book. One day I was sitting reading the Sunday paper and the man who would become my first interview was featured in an article. I found the article about his life fascinating, and said to myself should I begin the project, he would definitely be someone I would like to speak with.
The book is written with meaning, heart and sincerity. I have learned much in my years as a therapist and would like to share some of that with all of you. The book is meant to make you think and reflect, but also to provide, hopefully, a sense of peace and appreciation. I also hope you find many of my stories and interjections funny.
I am not an avid reader myself, but love the art of baking, and I love to garden. I do consider myself an avid conversationalist-interpret that how you would like 🙂
I believe in living a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise being essential, as well as the grounding that spirituality provides.
I welcome any questions and hope you find my book interesting enough to read. If so, I welcome any thoughts you may have.
Author’s Page At Book Marketing Global Network: