Fired from her job, Mary Ann Finch Vandivier took life by the reins and paved a new path. Twenty years later, with a Masters of Art and twenty years as a successful businesswoman, she embarks on a new journey as author. Follow “Finch” on a journey of strength and discovery that led her directly to Juniper Village.
Mary Ann Finch Vandivier, better known as Finch, is a resident at Juniper Village at Brookline Senior Living. She shared the title of this blog as reflective of how she looks back upon having been fired from her job as one of the defining moments of her life.
Finch started her college career late in life, receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in German and her Masters of Art Degree in West European Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1987 at the age of 45. Excited to use these two degrees, Finch began her career by taking a job, only to be fired almost immediately.
Not quite knowing where to go or what to do next, Finch purchased what was to be her first computer and ultimately found her new career path through the newly popular internet. Always having had an interest in writing, Finch began writing resumes for people, immediately finding her niche and ultimately turning this newfound joy into an internet- based career and business for the past 20 years. Even now, Google recognizes Finch Vandivier Coaching & Writing Services as a business in Carmel, Indiana. Finch provides writing services to an array of clients and businesses, from Anheuser-Busch to broom sweepers.
Just as Finch was hitting her stride professionally a horrific murder took place in a community near her that immediately caught her attention and would not let go, she could not escape the image of this tragedy. Finch took it upon herself to go to the trial and gather as much information about the events of this crime as she possibly could. Admitting that even in the peak of her career and success, she could never quite escape thoughts of the murder, being so engrossed that she would awaken in the middle of the night to write down her thoughts, in the hopes of finding some reprieve from the burden that she seemed to be carrying with her. This murder formed the core of her first novel.
Having experienced a stroke in 2010 Finch travelled to Denver seeking advice and comfort from her son, while there she was also diagnosed with stage-three throat cancer and immediately began cancer treatments. During these times of illness, coupled with the requisite chemotherapy and radiation, Finch stopped writing. She found it just too difficult to maintain due to the challenges and side effects from the stroke and therapy treatments.
Over time Finch began feeling better and her family encouraged her to look at senior living options. Finch’s daughter encouraged her to look at Juniper Village at Brookline in State College as a way of being closer to her children and her grandchildren, who live in the area. Finch admits that she did not want to get out of the car for the tour and shared that if she had not been permitted to bring her cat and her sewing machine along she likely would not have made the decision to join our community here at Juniper Village.
Finch feels that Juniper Village has given her a “huge block of wonderful time.” Not having to worry about meal preparation, cleaning, or even making her bed, Finch can “just live” throughout the day. Time has allowed her to pick up where she left off regarding her passion of writing which has resulted in the publishing of her first book, The Fathers, which is based upon true life events of her past. Finch created both a paper back and on-line offering which is available through both the Amazon store and Kindle.
Despite having just received her first royalty check a few weeks ago Finch shared that writing her book is not about the money, but rather the pleasure she receives from knowing that others are reading her book.
Now that she has more “wonderful time” on her hands, Finch has decided to start taking piano lessons with the goal of learning to play songs from the recent Hollywood production of La La Land. Juniper Village is truly blessed to have amazing residents, like Finch, in the community.