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Roohee’s First Writer’s Retreat

Can you recall a moment that changed the course of your life? For Roohee, her deep passion for writing started with one conversation.

At the time, Roohee was experiencing a challenging time in her adult life and had taken a trip to Mississippi to spend time with a close childhood friend.

Throughout her life, Roohee has experienced the deep pain of mourning loved ones. Roohee lost her mother when she was only nine years old. And when she was 31, she also lost her only sister. The pain of these losses has stayed with her; “It’s something you never fully overcome,” she said.

During her visit home, Roohee saw her friend’s 93-year-old neighbor outside mowing the lawn and introduced herself.

What started as a friendly “hello” turned into a deep conversation. Roohee was so intrigued that she asked if they could meet again so she could record this woman’s fascinating personal history in writing.

At the time, Roohee was working part-time in the medical field and did not have much experience with creative writing. But the wisdom she gained from that conversation brought new meaning to her life, and she felt an undeniable urge to keep going.

Roohee interviewed people at every opportunity, collecting stories from inspiring African American elders ages 80 to 108 across the country. But she knew she couldn’t keep this wisdom to herself. She wrote a book titled A Generation Found: Pearls of Wisdom to share these stories with the world.

Although she’s now a published author, Roohee wants to dive further into her writing and improve her craft. She is passionate about continuing to share the stories of older adults and is working on a second book.

But Roohee’s life is full of responsibilities, and finding uninterrupted writing time is rare. At age 67, she works part-time and spends time with her five children, helping care for her thirteen grandchildren however she can.

Roohee is also devoted to her community. She volunteers at her local library to teach kids about making healthy life choices. One of her programs helps children experience time out in nature, which many would not have the opportunity to do independently. She also volunteers for a nonprofit called Days for Girls, which empowers young women with personal care and hygiene products.

When we heard Roohee’s story, we were inspired by her passion for sharing the stories and wisdom of older adults. We knew just what to do to recognize the incredible woman she is today—and to help her continue honing her writing!

Roohee smiles while sitting on the beach on white sand

With the help of Wish of a Lifetime, Roohee traveled from her home in Michigan to Cape May, NJ, to attend the Fabled Retreats writing workshop. She spent four inspiring days in the seaside town, taking much-needed time to rest, learn, and write at a beautiful Victorian bed and breakfast—only one block from the beach.

“I got help on my writing from some great people; their work and energy were amazing,” she shared. “It felt really good being amongst people going through the same process.”

During her downtime, Roohee enjoyed sitting on the veranda and gazing at the historic street. And she was amazed to learn that Harriet Tubman lived in Cape May in the early 1850s.

“Things lined up with the universe,” she said. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this journey I am on. That Harriet Tubman coincidentally was just a couple miles from us—can you believe that?”

Walking along the beach and taking in the sea air was rejuvenating for Roohee on many levels. Finally, she could sit quietly and reflect on her life.

“The last few years have been basically non-stop and, at times, challenging,” she said. “Thank you for the time to sit by the ocean and breathe. For that, I am grateful.”

After returning home, Roohee felt energized and inspired by her time in Cape May.

“The Writers Retreat was such an enriching experience. It was my first time, and I never knew an opportunity like this was possible or even existed! I connected to other writers of like minds who provided feedback and supported me… with my next writing project,” she said.

Roohee’s wish experience was just the motivation she needed to finish her second book, A Generation Found: The Journey Continues.

“Wish of a Lifetime gives me hope and inspiration,” she said. “Knowing there are those who continue to uphold respect and provide opportunities for seniors to gain and grow from life experiences, which is often overlooked.”

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