Larry Minnix has always been one of the best writers around. And he’s not even a writer by trade, we professionals have always lamented with respect and jealousy.
Minnix, of course, is the former president and CEO of Leading-
Age. He led it for 15 years and has spent more than four decades in the business.
Now, the Georgia native has put his valuable insights between the covers of his first book, “Hallowed Ground: Stories of Successful Aging.” May it be the first of many. Minnix freely unloads humor and wisdom about some of life’s stickiest subjects.
(Full disclosure: When the author approached me about a year ago to read some “rough” thoughts he had assembled for a possible book, I jumped at the chance and have encouraged him since.)
This is the self-help, inspirational stuff that made people like motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia famous. Genuine as the day is long, it is not a book for the professional caregiver, nor the family caregiver. It is a feast for the human soul.
Above all, it is Larry in full candor. Sometimes shockingly so. Not one to simply discuss others’ challenges or shortcomings, he lays bare his own personal weaknesses and family flaws.
We get the full background on relatives such as nosy cousin Johnnie Mae, ornery great-grandmother Ma Dennis (who had three sets of twins), an emotionally detached father and dozens more. This includes the eldest surviving family member so many LeadingAge followers came to know through the years, Cousin Bubba.
Throughout, there are lessons. He takes us through his early years at Wesley Woods in Atlanta, where he led an innovative community offering long-term supports and services. He addresses the value of attitude, intimacy, dying and death, caregiving, retirement and “those places” people go when they can’t live on their own any more.
He estimates nearly 100 different people figure into stories in the book. They all become part of Larry’s family. Many serve as exemplars, all the better to explore successful (and unsuccessful) aspects of aging.
This is an engaging examination of life that will get you reflecting on your own, and likely acquiring some new goals along the way.
Welcome to Larry’s world. Pick up a copy and raise yourself to “Hallowed Ground.” (Now available at http://larryminnix.wpengine.com/ and online via booksellers such as Amazon.)