I shall pass this way but once: Meet @AuntieOakley

Oct 27, 2021 | Rosemary, Volunteer Mentor | @rosemarya | Comments (46)

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!

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@auntieoakley It’s such a pleasure to learn even more about you in this Spotlight. Over the past months I’ve grown very fond of you because of your respect and genuineness with fellow members and always knowing the right things to say! You “Connect” so well with everyone and have a warm, compassionate heart. And your easy going manner makes it feel like we’re all just sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee/tea or, dare I say wine? That’s the goal in this forum, a warm, supportive family.

You’re so multifaceted! What a talented woman with your various hobbies and interests. We share the love of Parrots, having had an African Grey for 35 years…he has adopted a new family! Long story but he’s in good hands and a happy boy. I can relate to your barn time! It’s been many years since I’ve had that pleasure. But there is nothing like a good head bump with a beloved horse. See you in the halls of Connect. ☺️

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Chris – I am so happy that Rosemary capture your personality so beautifully. I saved your Grandma's quote.
Sue

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Solid and sincere……that is where your heart took me in your spotlight. It is an honor to share your name. Is Chris a shortened version of a longer spelling? I was named for the family clan in Scotland…".Christie". I also share your love for horses……and only gave up riding when I left the mainland for Hawaii. Don't even recall seeing horses in the Christmas parade.

I admire all of your skills and talents……grandmothers were also my teachers and role models. It is great to have you on the team.

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I just love this story/interview about you! And the photo is fantastic! When you wander the halls, you always seem to land right where you are needed. I’d love to meet you!

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@loribmt

@auntieoakley It’s such a pleasure to learn even more about you in this Spotlight. Over the past months I’ve grown very fond of you because of your respect and genuineness with fellow members and always knowing the right things to say! You “Connect” so well with everyone and have a warm, compassionate heart. And your easy going manner makes it feel like we’re all just sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee/tea or, dare I say wine? That’s the goal in this forum, a warm, supportive family.

You’re so multifaceted! What a talented woman with your various hobbies and interests. We share the love of Parrots, having had an African Grey for 35 years…he has adopted a new family! Long story but he’s in good hands and a happy boy. I can relate to your barn time! It’s been many years since I’ve had that pleasure. But there is nothing like a good head bump with a beloved horse. See you in the halls of Connect. ☺️

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I had just enough time to read your post and hit like and run out today. Thank you so much for all the nice things you said, even the ones that are true. Lol . I love your sense of humor. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that you loved a parrot. We have 3 greys, all Congo’s, Moses is a beast of a bird who is pretty sweet. Joe is a rescued dedicated feather picker that was rescued from a bus 50 years ago and landed with me when his rescuer couldn’t keep him any longer. Then our baby bird is all his, he just want to bite the mom that fed him.

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I just got back into town and saw all these nice people saying nice things about me and making me cry. Thank you for being such a kind group. It feels weird to just keep replying to each one so I am going to put these three together.
Thank you @sueinmn I think that quote would cover a lot of ground with this group.
@artscaping thank for your kindness, my name is very shortened to Chris, I would share that privately. Aren’t grandmothers just the best? Mine were the two strongest women I have ever met. One came out soft, and one came out hard but both were critical to my life.
@becsbuddy Thank you, I love to go swimming with horses or just wandering into the water, any chance I get. I would love to meet you as well, I have not traveled out of state since the pandemic came but I won’t be able to hide forever. Hahahaha

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@auntieoakley, Thank you for sharing a little about yourself with us. I really love your favorite quote…something we should all live by. Love your photo!

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Hello @auntieoakley, I so enjoyed your interview and just love the word pictures you created, especially, " I also occasionally wander the halls looking for a conversation on a totally unrelated topic where I might add value or learn something." Like you, I've learned so much during my time on Connect. It never ceases to amaze me the strength and passion I hear in the words of Connect members. This is an inspirational group for me!

Your love for animals, both the winged ones and those with four hoofs, is delightful. Folks who love animals are a special breed of humans!

Thank you, @rosemarya, for facilitating this great interview!

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Very heartfelt and inspiring @auntieoakley. Thank you for sharing. I greatly enjoy reading about other folks on Connect. It helps bring together the Connect community!

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Your profile is so interesting. As an aside, I have a brother with autism and a grandson with Asperger's. I have a 30 year old yellow collared macaw and what a character he is!

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@hopeful33250

Hello @auntieoakley, I so enjoyed your interview and just love the word pictures you created, especially, " I also occasionally wander the halls looking for a conversation on a totally unrelated topic where I might add value or learn something." Like you, I've learned so much during my time on Connect. It never ceases to amaze me the strength and passion I hear in the words of Connect members. This is an inspirational group for me!

Your love for animals, both the winged ones and those with four hoofs, is delightful. Folks who love animals are a special breed of humans!

Thank you, @rosemarya, for facilitating this great interview!

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Rosemary deserves a medal for this one. She did all the hard work.

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@raebaby

Your profile is so interesting. As an aside, I have a brother with autism and a grandson with Asperger's. I have a 30 year old yellow collared macaw and what a character he is!

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My blue and gold lived 40 years, he passed away last year after a mistake in his medicine at the compounding pharmacy. I still have the old girls (amazons) over a hundred years each, one is slowing considerably but the other two, not so much. I was diagnosed on the spectrum in my 40s if you can imagine how great it was to realize, yes, I do see things a little differently than most but it can be a benefit to others sometimes too. I appreciate you so much in the breast cancer conversations, you seem so level headed about it all. ❤️

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