Intentional Conversations

On page one of her graphic memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More PLEASANT?, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast describes her attempt to have an Intentional Conversation with her aging parents about mortality and preparing for the inevitable.


While sitting on a couch with her parents, Roz awkwardly raises the difficult subject that her parents had successfully avoided talking about during their lifetime.  She gingerly inquires about “things” and “plans” that her parents may have made.  Then she states, “Let’s say something happened (to you).”

I am sure that that awkward scene has played out countless times by well intentioned children and their aging parents.  In the book, the uncomfortable conversation did not conclude successfully.  The next scene pictures Roz and her parents expressing relief about not having to deal with the subject.  She uses humor, sometimes hilarious and at other times dark, but always honest to reveal the uncomfortable truth of the matter.





I highly recommend Can’t We Talk About Something More PLEASANT?


Personal Experiences


It has been a year since my father died.  During the past year I have thought about him a lot.  Mostly about the good things that he did and said. I have vivid memories about him when I was growing up in Cape Town, South Africa.  He was fun loving and would crack jokes just when you least expected it, and he made people feel comfortable.


He immigrated to Israel with my mother when they were in their mid 70’s, a lifelong dream.  Growing up, I remember mother saying that she and father did not want to be a burden to my sisters or me in their later years.   I am grateful for her foresight.  However, their picture of living in the Holy Land during their golden years did not include the reality of being so far away from children or the infirmity of declining health.


Prior to moving to Israel, they researched retirement communities and found Protea Village with many English speaking residents. The facilities included independent living garden villas as well as assisted living and skilled nursing care.  At the time, they paid for the additional long-term care option.  Without this planning, the current cost of care would have been onerous on them and possibly us (the children).


Without planning, the costs of long-term care can be staggering.  In Roz Chast’s book, the financial costs were a big source of her stress.  Her parents lived into their late 90’s and became oblivious to financial realities as they slipped into dementia.


Contact us if you wish to discuss Long Term Care or any other life planning issue.



Difficult Conversations Made Easier  


So what is Our Little Blue Box?   Our Little Blue Box supports Doors of Change, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to solve youth homelessness through empowerment and self-sufficiency.


Our Little Blue Box guides families to listen carefully by using structured but flexible family meetings/circles. The term “circle” is used because the family arranges itself in a circle. Circles can bring and keep families together.


Our Little Blue Box empowers family members, no matter how young or old, to respectfully express their individual interests and opinions. All family members have a voice.


Our Little Blue Box represents good intentions and positive actions of individuals or of the family as a whole. The process can strengthen family bonds and help families identify and perpetuate its values from generation to generation.


The goal is to have intentional conversations that brings and keeps families together, all the while making difficult conversations easier.

Proceeds paid to Our Little Blue Box will benefit Doors of Change.  The cost for each kit is $36.  To order your Our Little Blue Box please call or email Hillel at 858-550-0425 or

Now Learn How to Use your Blue Box

The 16 page booklet contained in the Blue Box is all that you need to get started. The guidelines were recently rewritten to simplify the process and make it even easier to use.  However, I know that the simplicity of the process does not mean that facilitating a circle comes easily.  It takes practice.

To help you become comfortable with the process, you are invited to participate in an upcoming Our Little Blue Box circle.  Our Little Blue Box tools will be used to delve into the subject of wealth, for a circle called WealthCouncil.

WealthCouncil Logo

There is no charge for attending and participating in WeathCouncil.

The following WealthCouncils will be held in our offices in La Jolla/UTC:

Wednesday June 24th, 2015 from 5pm to 7pm
Wednesday October 14th, 2015 from 5pm to 7pm
For more information click on this link: To Register
Here’s to respectful, intentional conversations!

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