“One Moment, we fell in Love”

Linda Metcalf and Tobin (Toby) Simon met while teaching at Pratt Institute, a small arts college, in Brooklyn, New York. In 1976, they became officemates and in “one moment, we fell in love,” she says. During that time, Mr. Simon also stepped in to help raise Ms. Metcalf’s three-year-old child. In these early years they made a lasting commitment to become life partners and have been together for 43 years.

Together, they created

the Proprioceptive Writing Method

The couple co-authored a book called Writing the  Mind Alive, The Proprioceptive Writing Method (2002)

 

When they first met in their tiny office, Ms. Metcalf had started to create the Proprioceptive Writing Method, a meditational writing practice, and shared her first ideas about it with him. He thought it was great and together they worked to define and expand it. They even began teaching it in their classrooms. It became their life’s work and business and in 2002 they published a book called, Writing the Mind Alive. Since sharing that office, they have moved from New York to Maine to the Bay Area. Together they have tackled life, parenthood and various challenges, one of the biggest being when Mr. Simon was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2006.

 

Able to maintain their independence

Mr. Simon says having a CEI home care aide come to their home at seven a.m. to help him get ready for the day and eat breakfast “helps to set up structure.” It also gives Ms. Metcalf much-needed rest from caregiving. When Mr. Simon attends the day center three times a week, Ms. Metcalf handles their non-profit educational center which serves their students’ needs online, in person, and by phone. While Mr. Simon doesn’t teach full-time, he instructs a few students, which keeps him active. Mr. Simon also uses day center activity time to write scenes and analyze his hallucinations, which are a side effect of Parkinson’s and the prescribed drugs. Using their Proprioceptive Writing Method, Simon reflects and digs deeper into his thoughts, keeping his mind active, present, and aware.

They love the coordinated care

Mr. Simon had been living with Parkinson’s Disease for ten years before a lawyer friend of the couple’s recommended CEI. When asked about his favorite part of CEI, Mr. Simon replies, “The massages!” and then adds, “working with Maria,” his physical therapist. Ms. Metcalf agrees that the therapy component of CEI has made all the difference in keeping Toby active. When he’s at the center, Maria takes walks with him and helps with exercises that his doctor and specialist created for him. CEI uses the PACE coordinated care model, which works for Ms. Metcalf and Mr. Simon because of the personal attention they receive. “Having these personal relationships at all points where help is needed is great,” she says. “CEI is a little community of people who are there to meet your needs.”

Linda was awarded Outstanding Caregiver Award

at 2018 PACE Party

When they first met in their tiny office, Ms. Metcalf had started to create the Proprioceptive Writing Method, a meditational writing practice, and shared her first ideas about it with him. He thought it was great and together they worked to define and expand it. They even began teaching it in their classrooms. It became their life’s work and business and in 2002 they published a book called, Writing the Mind Alive.