Longtime Snowmass local, therapist to be recognized through book launch
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Margery Fridstein’s “My Last Stop: Reflections on Senior Living” book launch and birthday celebration will be held at Explore Booksellers, 221 East Main Street on Feb. 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be a short presentation and readings by the author’s children and friends. For more information, contact Thomas Fridstein at email@example.com.
Friends and family of the late Margery Fridstein, a longtime local and practicing psychotherapist in Snowmass Village, will gather Feb. 11 at Explore Booksellers in Aspen to celebrate the launch of her last book, “My Last Stop: Reflections on Senior Living.”
Fridstein, who was a former columnist for the Snowmass Sun, The Aspen Times and a guest columnist for The Denver Post, moved from Snowmass to the Continuing Care Retirement Community, known as the Vi at Highlands Ranch, in 2008 after health issues drew her and her husband, Bob, away from the village.
According to her four children, including Snowmass local Thomas Fridstein, she soon became very active in the Vi community, joining a writing group and beginning work on her last book, which is a detailed and honest reflection on her and her neighbors’ experiences transitioning into and residing in the Highlands Ranch senior living community.
Her kids said her ultimate goal for the 225-page book was to help others through similar transitions in their lives.
“She wanted to write this book because she thought she could help people through sharing her ideas and observations,” Tom said.
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“It was really important to her to get this information out there in hopes of helping people,” said Nancy, one of Fridstein’s daughters. “It’s not a self-help book, it’s a window into her and her neighbors’ experiences.”
After several years of writing, Fridstein completed a manuscript and hired a literary agent in hopes of getting “My Last Stop” published. Her children said she “poured her heart and soul” into the book and even learned how to use an Apple MacBook at 85 so she could work with the most up-to-date technology.
But after Fridstein died following a brief illness in 2016 and her agent’s contract ran out before a book deal was decided on, her adult children made the decision to publish Fridstein’s book on her final chapter on their own.
“We knew how important it was for her to get this book published and how hard she worked on it,” said Kathy, one of Fridstein’s daughters. “So we decided to work together as a family to get it published.”
In Fridstein’s book, she discloses her move from Snowmass Village to Highlands Ranch and her and Bob’s senior living experience there down to almost every thought and happening.
She also answers seemingly simple questions about living in a retirement community that matter to seniors, such as what are the people like and what is the food like, and tougher topics surrounding loss of health and loved ones and eventually end-of-life decisions.
Although the book is primarily a detailed self-account and contemplation on Fridstein’s senior living transition and life in a retirement community, it also gives readers a glimpse of a family’s experience with aging and death, and that family’s drive to commemorate a loved one through seeing their final work through to publication.
“We had never undertaken a project like this together, it was a really fun journey for us,” said Peggy, Fridstein’s oldest daughter.
At the Feb. 11 book launch event in Aspen, which also is Fridstein’s birthday, Peggy and her three siblings hope to celebrate their mom and her life in Snowmass and Aspen with her friends and to spread her thoughts and experiences on the life transitions that come with aging.
“She was such an intelligent lady and woman way beyond her times,” Peggy said. “I’m just so happy we were able to publish this and give her that recognition.”
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