Life Lessons from an 81-Year Old…


Mentor. What comes to mind when you hear of the word mentor?

According to, a mentor is defined as “a trusted counselor or guide or a tutor, coach.”

definition of mentor

In 2013, when the idea of “Born Again Dreammakers” came up, there were two people, two mentors in particular whose stories I wanted to share. Today, I wanted to share one of those stories. I grew up eating her yummy food and finding ways to express our love for one another despite our language barrier. She was fluent in Italian, I was not. But there is just something about love that transcends a spoken language. If anything, love is often times an unspoken language that is expressed through our actions.

My Nona Rosina took her first breath in heaven on September 26th, 2016 and though her life here on earth may be over, her legacy, her lessons, and her love lives on.

esterina, nona, and joann
My soul sister Esterina, Nona Rosina, and I. This photo was taken on my wedding day April 20th, 2013                     Photo Credit: Jason Valdeavilla




The Question: What is the BEST Mistake you’ve ever made?

The Response:

The best mistake I have ever made was being resentful of what others were given. After being married, it was expected that I work on my husband’s family farm. My husband came from a family of 4 (three brothers and one sister). All the siblings and their spouses worked on the farm. Our days were often very long and labourous. The work was physically exhausting and paid nothing, we worked for food and a place to stay. I enjoyed working, being along side the people I loved and in a country I adored.

I was happy to work along side family but was very resentful toward my sister-in-law. Although she too worked on the farm, after marriage she was given a home to live in and an abundant dowry. Both my husband and I felt ill treated-why was she given so much and we were given nothing. The anger and frustration grew with each passing day. It began to consume me and transformed my labour of love into one of resentment. As time passed, the concern was no longer for my self, but for my two girls. What would we be able to give them if we had nothing of our own?


No longer content with the life we were leading, my husband boarded a boat and came to Canada, where we would join him one year later. Being illiterate, and having a language barrier made it extremely difficult to perform even simple tasks. Leaving behind my family and my beautiful Italia to begin a new life in Canada where I watch my girls and now grandchildren flourish has given me the opportunity to look back at my feelings of anger and be thankful. In my case, my feelings of anger and resentment became the catalyst and reminder to never undermine the power of hard work, the strength of my own two hands and my health. Never wait to be given anything. If you want something in life YOU are responsible for making it happen. It is my hope that those who read my story realize the power, strength and self-pride you gain in creating your own path in life. As long as you have heath, and motivation, the strength of your OWN two hands will create unprecedented opportunities.



About Joann Lim Lesiuczok

Lifestyle Designer. Catalyst. Connoisseur of Life. Perfectly Imperfect. Foodie. Allergic to Nuts, Shellfish, and Mediocrity. Love Naps. Thought-Provoker. Soul-Stirrer. Multi-instrument Musician. Professional Dreammaker. Drew's Wife. JE SUiS. 1 Corinthians 14:1. When We Change The Way We Love, We Change The Way We Live. When We Change The Way We Live, We Change The Way We Love. #dangerouslove #generationamazing #lifeclass