August 2020: Make New Friends but Keep the Old

Braeside Forever

I grew up on the North Shore of Chicago in a town called Highland Park. We were within a stone’s throw of our beloved elementary school, Braeside. Memories of hot chocolate in the warming house during ice skating season, the scary field day race across the meadow, the silver turtle jungle gym and Mrs. Heidi’s afternoon kindergarten are still vivid memories. I am part of the generation that was told to go play outside and come in when the sun went down. Our after school sports consisted of infinite games of red rover, capture the flag, four square, hopscotch and snowman competitions. We rode our bikes everywhere and played marathon games of jacks. My two best friends, Lorri and Susan, lived down the street and behind me, respectively. We traipsed around the block with our pillows, our dogs, our board games, and our laughter. Every weekend was an endless sleep over at one of our houses. n

Fast forward, 50 years later, the three of us have been married, raised our children, navigated the senior space for our parents, and moved to different cities. Suddenly, I have found myself reunited with Lorri and Susan. Two years ago, I founded Senior Living Specialists Houston, a year later Lorri Raizes Bernstein opened Senior Living Specialists Philly and just recently Susan Charleson Heymann has started Senior Living Specialists Chicago. I feel giddy talking to both daily. We spend hours, like we did in elementary school, scheming again, albeit now our conversations are about growing our business and helping families. I love strategizing about how we can educate in navigating the maze of Senior Living Communities in each of our cities. Every day, I smile while reading our group texts and seeing our boomer faces on zoom. I feel like I am back at Braeside again and that is a good thing because Braesiders are a force and these are my peeps.

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