We All Have a Story to Tell: Interview with Lifestyles reader Joseph Gop

Every month, stories pour in from readers eager to share their take on “Aging in a New Light,” our mission in redefining aging. This month’s story comes to us from Joseph J Gop, a 72-year-old author of 22 books and a courageous cancer survivor.

Here’s his inspiring story:

Gop

My name is Joseph Gop and I am many things. Vietnam veteran, author, prostate cancer survivor, husband of 38 years and Venice resident since 1978.

A common fear associated with aging is the feeling of “what’s left?” but I think this is a learned fear. We are made to feel we don’t matter once we hit a certain age or face a certain health problem. I share my story here in the hopes that it enlightens many seniors who feel they have nothing left.

I can’t remember exactly what age I was when it happened, but I panicked. I sat each day thinking, what to do, how do I stay truly alive?

As it turns out, becoming an author is what enlivened me again. It reawakened parts of my character I hadn’t used in a long time. In my new life as an author, I used the tenacity I developed as a marine in my efforts to now get published. I patiently nurture my books the way I would another child, watching lovingly as they grow up and take on a life of their own. What I’m trying to say to my fellow seniors is, you’ve got a lot cultivated inside of you. Character and stories. So borrow my motto: Never give up! We must never surrender to not doing something with our lives. The reward is greater than you think.

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