Ingredients for life

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First Posted: 3/18/2013

“Happiness is a state of mind. Where would you like to find yourself?”

This is the question Helen Ogrodnick poses to us – one that is full of passion and vigor. As a 78-year-old wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and, more recently, novelist, she shows the world how to live, no matter what your age.

Throughout the decades, Ogrodnick has held a variety of professions, ranging from telemarketer to sewing machine operator, but now, as a novelist, she begins a new endeavor – to stay sharp and make a difference along the way.

Born and raised on a cotton farm in Amherst, Tex., Helen relocated to Warrior Run in 1960 after marrying her husband, Walter Ogrodnick. While Helen admits that she has no formal training, she states that writing at first became a way to stay busy. After only a year, she had four novels in her possession and an enthusiasm to keep writing.

Those novels have since been contracted with Rebel Ink Press for e-book publication. “Jami’s Dilemma,” which was released last Sunday, is the first of the four works. The second novel, “Dear Elvira,” will shortly follow in May. Whereas the first two novels are stand-alone, the third and fourth novels, “Why Marybeth Why?” and “Elizabeth’s Revenge,” are part of a series.

It is no wonder that Helen, a compassionate powerhouse of a woman, is overcoming one obstacle after the next. Her attitude has given her a boldness to defeat many complications since her beloved husband first suffered a massive stroke in 1998. Since that time, Ogrodnick has exuded a never-ending capacity to advance with optimism.

Through Ogrodnick’s writing project, she anticipates that other senior citizens will also join in her efforts. More than anything, her goal is demonstrating to community members that “tomorrow is not just another day, it is another chance.”

She has expanded nearly every way of life. In addition to publishing, she finds herself blogging about her work, as well as the road that led her there. Though challenging, the road ahead is matched by her tenacious drive to write more, as she expressed that she has one more novel is in the works, as well as a memoir in the future.

Writing a novel, let alone a handful, has given Ogrodnick the courage to cross everything off her bucket list in the remaining years of her life. Though she mentions completing nearly everything she has dreamed of doing, there are still some things that remain, deep-sea fishing among them. Looking back at life, Ogrodnick expresses a feeling of great accomplishment, owing much of her happiness to her husband, Walter, as well as her entire family for their support and inspiration.

As someone with many years of experience, Ogrodnick leaves readers with some advice for success: “Love and respect are the two most important ingredients for life.”

Through this sentiment, her readers move ahead knowing that compassion unites us, and age should never deter us.