I shall pass this way but once: Meet @AuntieOakley
Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
ROSEMARY: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?
@auntieoakley: After my husband was treated at Mayo Clinic and we spent most of two winters in Rochester MN, I would receive an informative email, Living with Cancer newsletter, from Mayo Clinic every month. It always had an invitation to Mayo Clinic Connect, and I was persuaded to check it out.
ROSEMARY: What motivates you to take part in the community?
@auntieoakley: I do not typically participate in social media so I was skeptical at best. I was pleasantly surprised to see how caring and respectful everyone was. I also felt that my stories might have value. I am always looking for ways to be of service, this seemed like a way to give back some of what I have been blessed with.
ROSEMARY: What about Mayo Clinic Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@auntieoakley: The way Mayo Clinic Connect is designed to be a format where people get energy from each other and form a community. This feels like a place where people are heard. If a comment has value to someone, they can use it and, if not, they can look for one that they do find helpful. There is no judgement in doing that.
ROSEMARY: What groups do you participate in?
@auntieoakley: Mostly the Breast Cancer group because this is where I have a personal history as a breast cancer survivor. You might also find me sharing with adults who have autism in the Autism (ASD) group or talking about multiple myeloma in the Blood Cancers & Disorders group. I also occasionally wander the halls looking for a conversation on a totally unrelated topic where I might add value or learn something.
ROSEMARY: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Mayo Clinic Connect.
@auntieoakley: Honestly, meaningful moments are when I see I might make a difference in a real-world situation. I was able to recommend my really great doctor to someone who was just diagnosed with multiple myeloma and looking for an oncology having recently relocated to my geographical area. This member and I extended our connection to a friendship in person too. This changed my whole perspective about online connections.
ROSEMARY: What surprised you the most about Mayo Clinic Connect?
@auntieoakley: How difficult it would be to keep track of people and their stories without a picture or a visual in front of me. I know that seems strange to some, but I use visual recall. I can easily remember the words, but I don’t always remember who said them. Not everyone uses a personal avatar or profile picture. As people gain trust in the community connections, more members add a profile picture. I really care about the connections made here, and I think the depth of that surprised me.
ROSEMARY: What energizes you? How do you find balance in your life?
@auntieoakley: Hands down it is barn time when I spend my time rambling senselessly to a myriad of horses. I might be exercising one, or riding, or brushing, or helping out with barn chores. It doesn’t really matter – brutal heat or blessed rain – I am just happy to be at the barn breathing in the smells and enjoying my equine family. Horses are totally honest, and never have a hidden agenda, need, or want. They live in the moment and that helps me to do the same.
ROSEMARY: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@auntieoakley: Whatever my current passion is. It might be silversmithing, or collecting and learning about beautiful rocks, or spinning wool into yarn, or sewing costumes. I am currently knitting lace. My favorite pastime is an ever rotating and changing thing. Whichever thing I am doing at that time, I am wholly passionate about it.
ROSEMARY: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?
@auntieoakley: “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Etienne de Grellet, a Quaker missionary. This was on a plaque hanging in my grandmother’s kitchen when I was growing up. She was the woman I most admired in life. She lived it every day. That plaque resides in my kitchen now. I try to live up to her example.
ROSEMARY: What food can you simply not resist?
@auntieoakley: Pesto, traditional basil, garlic, pine nut and Parmesan pesto. Whether on pasta, on crackers, on a cheese sandwich, or just on a spoon, I simply cannot resist it.
ROSEMARY: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
@auntieoakley: Betty Davis, she seemed to love characters that were underestimated or who didn’t always give up how clever or smart she was. It is difficult to feel like you cannot say what you know, but she made that better. She lived her life marching to her own tune – a tune likely only she could hear.
ROSEMARY: Puppies or Kittens?
@auntieoakley:My answer is neither. Parrots work well with my personality. I have 4 that were rescued or left on my doorstep. Three of them have outlived their families and are verifiably over 100 years old, and another one I raised for my husband. The old girls didn’t like to be handled by him after we were married, and he wanted a feathered friend. That was 25 years ago, we call him Baby Bird. Hahaha!