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75 & Certified

"75 and Certified"

© 2002, Joyce A. Kovelman, Ph.D.


May is always a special month in my home. May is truly a time of celebration. My eldest son and my set of twins have May birthdays. There is always Mother's Day remembrances and Memorial Day weekend. And this May is also my 75th Birthday, which I share with my own twin sister, Alice. Yes, May is a month of Celebration in the Kovelman household.


As I approached 75, I looked around and realized how many friends had made their transition from the life plane since my big 70. I began to count my blessings. I decided becoming an Elder was just fine with me, but the Aging process I would gladly do without. Yet, upon second thought, I recognized that aging had brought some wisdom and was really what life was all about. The message is all too clear. Make peace with yourself and others - time is quickly moving and NOW is all we truly have.


Turning 75 is a momentous experience. What is still undone, unsaid, unfinished and waiting? Am I up to the task of a new stage of Life? What does Elderhood ask of me; what does it really promise? And how does one face mortality and still move forward? Who am I now that I am 75? Has anything changed or is it still me? 65 is a moment of destiny and confronts me with the final frontiers of life. It is not an insignificant event!


My family was all in favor of celebrating, and hosted a party overflowing with family and friends. Nearly 100 came forth to make my day most extraordinary. Weather was perfect, children shouted, played and went swimming. Food was scrumptious and abundant and there was a song in my heart. I felt truly loved and blessed.

Yet, the most heartfelt celebration was a "Croning ceremony" held before I returned home from the big 75 Celebration. One of my Coaching peers took the role of an "Elder" to assist me into this ancient, deeply moving ceremony. Since I had just turned 75, I was chosen to be Crone. I eagerly consented, having long wished to participate in this ritual of initiation. Carolyn proceeded to quickly  decoratethe both the room and me, and invited 20 women guests  to welcome me in this new age of wisdom. The Crone is truly the achievement (Crown) of a lifetime. This ceremony acknowledges an Elder who has transformed her dreams, visions, and experiences into wisdom and compassion for all existence. She is definitely not the old hag of Patriarchy! Rather, she is truly at the Crowning stage of life; she is a women of wisdom and compassion, respected and valued by all.

As the room slowly filled with alll my guests, each taking their seat in the circle forming around me, a silence grew to enfold us all. My friend,Carolyn, took the stage and explained all about the Crone and presented each woman with her own candle, while also inviting the men to form a second circle around the first.. During the ceremony, the Crone was blessed and asked to present her heritage from yesterday to today. I closed my eyes and with gratitude, recited my spiritual name, Naomi Hannah, and began to claim my heritage, beginning with my two Great Grandmothers, two Grandmothers, My mother Sara, my sister Alice, my daughter Gabrielle, my two daughter-in-laws-Noreen and Angela, and my two precious granddaughters - Breeana and Catie. I was deeply moved.

Next, Carolyn lit my candle and asked each woman sitting in the circle to one by one share their noble lineage, each lighting another's candle until all had spoken and all had shared their history. Thus, were our ancestors and our descendants brought into our circle and acknowledged. Final words of blessings, along with an invitation to walk across this wondrous threshold, were spoken and then festivities began. Laughter, dancing, singing, filled the room. Somehow, being 65 felt as if we were sweet 16 once again, innocent, eager, joyful, and out to greet our world!

As we come to the close of May, 2012, I feel a different women emerging; one ready to make peace with all that has passed, eager to complete that which is yet unfinished, and remembering that all I hold dear will ever remain in my heart. Now I travel upon a path of integrity, truth, beauty and wisdom. I pray that I will bring honor to this newly bestowed role and that I will learn how to be Wise and Loving to you, you and you. I hold my head high, my eyes look forward, a surge of confidence arises, and yes, excitement too. I take a deep breath and begin walking along this gifted highway.


I am 75 and A Crone.

A beloved Elder and Woman

Now belonging to the world.


What Joy, What hope….

Potential and possibility eagerly soar ahead of me.

 Inviting me more deeply into the Dance of Life,

Promising me joy, serenity, nobility and grace.


Words whisper - May we always know peace and plenty

May we always trust the process and Let Love Be.

And so it is,

75 and Crowned with Wisdom and Joy


A week later, Gilbert died after a horrific and lengthy illness.  He is now at peace. Another pathway was opening before me - now . I was stunned, loss and suddenly experiencing deep and profound grief and sadness. I asked how I had suddenly reached such a profound experience and knew that many changes and new opportunities as well would appear soon, just around  the horizon.  Would  I like what lay ahead?  Is this a meaniful shifting in awareness or something else entirely.  Time will  tell.  May my new path bring me peace, a unceasing joy and lots of good  health and some wealth.  And so it is!


Blessings, Joyce

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