Robin Wentworth is a man about town who seemingly knows everybody. Some refer to him as the social chairman of Hattiesburg or the engineer who leads the party train. Others call him a rock star (both on and off the job), a fun, jolly and magnetic guy in every way who loves life (especially night life) and wants to be a part of everything. He’s known as someone who is full of life and celebrates it intensely.
But the biggest kudo is being called a friend and there are many.
“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of friends, locally and elsewhere,” Wentworth said. He loves them all in his own special way and the feeling is mutual.
It’s this love and his friends that will see him through.
Wentworth, 56, is an industrial/organizational psychologist by trade and a lover of life by choice. In early November, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no cure.
It hasn’t stopped him. He won’t allow that. He’s still got a lot of living to do.
To understand Wentworth’s love of life, you’ve got to know a little bit about where he came from, what makes him tick and those life experiences that have taught him how to truly appreciate and love the life he’s been given.
IN THE BOONIES
Wentworth grew up in Franklin County’s Eddiceton (pronounced Etta Ce Ton), right outside of Meadville or about halfway between Brookhaven and Natchez. He claims to have grown up out in the boonies and went to high school there before making his way to Jackson for college. He spent two years in the state capital, but a faculty turnover and the direction the school was taking sent him packing. He ended up in Tampa, Fla., with an aunt, “a single gal with no kids,” who invited him to come stay between his sophomore and junior years.
“It sounded like fun,” and gave Wentworth time to figure out what he wanted to do. But while there, he picked up some courses and made the decision to finish up his degrees, one in Biblical Studies and another in Psychology, in Arkansas. That completed, he arrived back in the Hub City after spending one year in graduate school in Kentucky. He completed his doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1990.
During his time in Florida, he also worked in business.
“I really liked business, working with people who have resources, are making things happen, getting things done and are talented,” he said from his lakeside home in South Hattiesburg. “But I didn’t like making widgets for the sake of widgets. I was always curious about why we do the things we do from a behaviorist standpoint, so I was debating which way I wanted to go – divinity school or psychology grad school.
“I’ve always been a person of faith,” he said. “And I decided I didn’t want my income tied to my faith, so that kind of nixed the divinity school and church work idea.”
That left him with psychology, where he worked in mental health and mental retardation for three years at Boswell Retardation Center in Magee and at the Community Care Center in Hattiesburg.
“That wore me out emotionally,” he said. “It takes a special person to do that and I wasn’t that person. But I liked the psychology beat.”
When he finished his graduate degree, he combined that with what he liked about the business world and people in the same field. He describes it as a “marriage made in heaven.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my job. I’ve worked with a lot of people who work because they had to and I had to work, but it was a joy. What I’ve done ¬– helping people solve teamwork and leadership and organizational kinds of issues – was a great match for me.”
Before launching his own boutique consulting firm specializing in transforming organizations, teams and leaders, he taught full time at the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama and served as an adjunct faculty member for graduate schools at two other universities. He worked for a small consulting firm in Atlanta for about a year. He also served as lead organizational development manager at Caterpillar Inc., a Fortune 50 company and as human resources team leader at the Southern Company (Fortune 150), the parent company of Mississippi Power.
But otherwise he was self-employed.
YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GUAM ANYTIME SOON,
It’s that work – partnering with leaders to build on what already works and fix what doesn’t – that has carried him all over the world. His passport includes stops in Hungary, Germany, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Tunisia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, British Indian Ocean Territory, Ascension Island, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii and throughout the continental United States. He was usually at each stop for at least a week if not two.
“One of the hardest things about this ALS is it took me a month to figure out if I could work anymore,” he said. “I finally just didn’t feel good and realized I couldn’t.”
That became evident after a trip to San Francisco for a third opinion to confirm the ALS.
“That trip wore me out,” he said. “I decided after that, right after Thanksgiving, that I couldn’t do this.” He had three jobs already on the books in Hawaii, one in Alaska, a job in D.C., two overseas (and I loved the overseas jobs), one in Pittsburgh, one in Kansas City and a couple of other places.
“But giving up those overseas jobs and Hawaii in January, when you are getting paid to go, you love the people you are with, you love the work, that was hard,” he laughed. “That was really really hard.”
And admits saying “no” was difficult.
“I’ve been self employed most of my career, about 20 of 25 years and this work I’m doing now is the result of 20 years of hard work and reputation and contacts and to say I can’t do it anymore, man, that really brought me to my knees,” he admits.
The two places he’s worked the most are Hawaii and Alaska. “That was just a dream come true,” he said. His jet-setting job has allowed him to share his travels with family members. For Hawaiian jaunts, his daughters were with him, his brothers went once and his mother had the opportunity to make trips to both Hawaii and Alaska.
In fact, he and his daughters, Alex and Brittney, 25 and 28, respectively, have traveled a good bit with their father. The girls currently live in Seattle.
“I would hoard my frequent flier miles and the last 10 years or so my daughters and I would travel together,” he said. “We’d go to Europe for a week during Christmas vacation and that was a lot of fun. We’ve had a lot of good times based on my work travels,” he said.
A wall in his dining room can attest to that with frame upon frame of him and his girls in different cities and countries around the world – Rome, Paris, Germany, Milan.
In his downtime, extracurricular activities have included bowhunting for elk in the Rockies with a friend, which he described as “a lot of fun” or fly fishing in Alaska with fly rods a buddy there built for him. And then there were trips to Alaska, Utah and Colorado when he’d try and get in some runs down the slopes. Back at home, he’d hang out with friends, kayak/float the rivers and listen to music his buddies played. That was in addition to meeting friends at favorite haunts around town to share a meal or have a beverage together.
Enter the selfie stick.
For Father’s Day 2015, his daughters gifted him with a selfie stick. He makes his way to the kitchen and comes back with the note that arrived with the package, “Hi Robin, Happy Fathers’ Day. We’re going to regret this. From Alexandra and Brittany.”
These days he doesn’t go out without it. In fact, he has one in each vehicle to ensure that he always has one at his disposal.
The selfie stick, like another appendage, is now a part of his regular jaunts.
He recalls the first time he went out with it.
“It was summertime and everybody was outside at the Keg and Barrel,” he said. “A lot of my friends were there, so I pulled out my selfie stick and all of my guy friends were dissing me and ragging me, making fun. All of their wives, girlfriends, everybody wanted their picture made with my selfie stick.”
For about an hour, Wentworth snapped pictures of himself with “all these lovely ladies. I noticed the guys started getting in the pictures and it’s gone downhill since then.”
Wentworth admits he loves taking photos of people often.
“It’s just kind of a fun thing to do, so I have quite the collection of Hattiesburg personalities and miscellaneous other people.” His Facebook page is like a Who’s Who and Wentworth admits he has a lot more than those.
Wentworth also photographs his healthcare providers; “that’s a lot of fun too.” There’s even a post-surgery shot following the port he had placed.
“I’ve only had one person turn me down about a selfie. It was a lady whose boyfriend wasn’t quite sure of what my intentions were. But otherwise I’ve never been turned down.”
He’s also snapped photos of complete strangers, admitting to photos of people in New Orleans that he’d never seen before and will never see again.
“And it’s always women and they are always beautiful,” he said. “You women are vain, you’re inherently vain, you just love having your picture made and I’m happy to take it too. It’s been a lot of fun.”
If it’s not already evident, Robin Wentworth has a good time enjoying life.
“I have a great set of friends here, a really diverse crew, all shapes sizes, colors,” he said. “They are good people. That’s really been touching how people have responded to my diagnosis – the expressions of love and support. I’ve cried a lot, but it’s mostly been tears of joy.”
He notes these expressions of love from people, but especially the guys.
“You kind of expect women to get more emotional,” he said, “but some of the big tough guys, to hug them and all of us tear up and sob a little. It really touches me, really touches my heart in a good way.”
A DIFFICULT DAY
In mid-August of last year, Wentworth noticed his left thumb had started going numb. “And a month later when I flew to Asia my right thumb started going numb, my voice changed, slowing down to about half speed and I couldn’t pronounce certain multi-syllable words,” he said.
About a month later he started getting muscle twitches. He was also getting tired.
“I met a friend there (in Asia) for a few days and she and I were walking through the city,” he said. “Normally she can’t keep up with me, but I was struggling to keep up with her and I had a real bad limp and a catch in my back.”
When he returned home in mid October he sent his family doctor a detailed note of what was happening. “He told me some things to try for a couple of weeks to see if it was something simple or if we needed to ‘get mean and do some tests.’”
After a couple of weeks, what they were trying didn’t help, and Wentworth went in for those tests.
“I asked what we were testing for,” he remembers. “The doctor told me a lot of things, including MS (multiple sclerosis) and ALS.”
Wentworth had already talked to some nurses about his symptoms and thought it sounded like maybe something was pressing on his spine or maybe a bone spur or something. “But when I started getting symptoms on both sides, I decided it wasn’t a bone spur. It was something else, but still not thinking ALS.”
Worried, his brother, Steve, had come down from Jackson to stay with his brother for a night during his three-day hospital stay.
Wentworth remembers his neurologist coming in, the nurse starting to leave. “When the doctor told her she needed to stay, I knew this wasn’t looking good. I didn’t know if the doctor was afraid I was going to pass out or go violent or something. And he said, ‘What do you think you have?’ and I answered, ‘I don’t know.’
“He told me I had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I said, ‘Is that ALS, Lou Gehrig’s?’ His answer was a simple ‘yes.’”
The men talked before Wentworth was released to go home with a “Come see me Monday and we’ll get to work on it.”
Wentworth describes that as “a hard day.”
His neurologist told him he could continue to work if he found that meaningful.
“I really wanted to do those trips, but all of my work is travel and that San Francisco trip to the doctor just wore me out,” he said.
Even at Christmas when his family gathered in Jackson, he told them he didn’t feel like traveling.
“I did that at Thanksgiving and it wasn’t fun,” he said. “Once I’m there you enjoy seeing everybody, but getting there and back just wore me out, so to fly across time zones and all that would be difficult.”
Telling his daughters of his diagnosis would be one of the most difficult things he’s had to do.
He remembers texting them in Seattle on a Saturday morning to see if they were awake. “One of them was awake, but the other was still asleep,” he said getting emotional. “It was still early there, so I told the one that was up, who in turned went to wake her sister. This was hard. You wake up from Friday night and she knows I’m in the hospital and she hears her sister crying and said, ‘Dad’s on the phone.’ It was so so sad.
“The first words out of her mouth were, ‘Well, at least we don’t have any regrets,’ meaning we’ve lived life to the fullest while we could. That’s true, but it still hurts.”
Alex and Brittany came home for Thanksgiving and again at Christmas.
“At Christmas, the youngest one and I had a long talk and she said, ‘You know, what I most regret is that you won’t be there when I turn 40 to see what kind of woman I’ve become.’ And that hurts a lot. So, I feel a little robbed and a little pissed off about that, but you know, it is what it is and all you can do is make the best out of each day and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
His girls suggested trips to the few places they still wanted to visit.
“I may try and go to Cuba,” he said. “I love Cuban cigars and enjoy smoking Cuban cigars, so I might try and go to Cuba at the end of February. But other than that, I think I’ll just stay right here.”
Walking to the mailbox wears him out and walking up the stairs is getting to be problematic, “so I just don’t feel physically like doing those kinds of things.”
“But you know, going to the Keg and grabbing a barstool or going to 206 or to breakfast, that’s still doable and enjoyable,” he said, as well as good for his mental health. “Getting out of the house and getting to see friends is great. I’m a social critter and it’s been tough, so getting out really lifts my spirits.”
TWO DUCKS AND A GOOSE
Wentworth has always loved whipping up something in the kitchen.
At Christmas, a buddy of his asked about getting together. He and the girls were going to be home, so he invited him over and as he saw more folks, he continued to invite more people.
“And then Christmas Day rolls around and I really don’t feel like cooking,” he said. “I wanted to see everybody, but just didn’t have the stamina to cook.”
He explained that at the last minute, a friend from Boston, who was home for the holidays, saw a photo Wentworth posted of what he was preparing – a goose and two ducks. “Man, I want some of that’” was his reply and came, bringing a friend, Joshua Tillman, with him.
Wentworth described Tillman as an excellent cook, “far better than I am and he came in right about when I was about to collapse. I said, ‘Joshua, I didn’t invite you over here to cook, but do you mind cooking?’
“Tillman finished the meal prep and became known as ‘the Jew who saved Christmas.’ We laughed and laughed and laughed.”
Wentworth explained for the past two years he’d worked his butt off to lose 35 pounds.
“I get in the hospital, they tell me I have ALS and that weight loss will become an issue,” he said.
“You get to where you can’t swallow, you lose your appetite and all of that stuff. I thought two things – I’ve just worked my butt off for two years and now I need all of that weight back and the second thing, you know I’ve gone to some great places and eaten some great food and think what I gave up for two years to lose that weight and now I need to gain it all back.”
So, he’s been on a high-carb diet.
Gratefull Soul in downtown is one of his favorite eating places.
“The guys at Gratefull Soul (Carmen and Grant) are friends of mine, great people and they cook like I cook, so the first day I went in there after my diagnosis I told them to give me the fattest thing on the menu. He also ordered sweet tea instead of water.
“I haven’t had sweet tea in years,” he said. “And haven’t had a soda pop in 20 years and now I’m going to Wards and getting a Big One with chili and cheese, greasy fries and a root beer float. That day at Gratefull Soul, after I’d eaten three big helpings of the fattest thing they had, Grant brought me out some peach cobbler with whipped cream.”
Wentworth gained 10 pounds in 12 days.
“And it all went right here,” he said cradling his belly, laughing. “So, I’m going to be a stick man with a pot belly.”
That was his answer to saying he cooked healthy until all of this started.
“Now I’m not eating healthy anymore. I love seafood and loved to cook fish and cooked a lot of fresh veggies.”
He’s always had a garden out back and currently has a winter garden planted with greens, onions, garlic and the like.
“I’ve always cooked a lot of seafood, smoked a lot of meat and liked to cook a lot of dried beans,” which he described as cheap, tasty and healthy. “I like to slow cook them with different kinds of broths.” He also grows herbs in pots and likes to cook with them.
But the thrill is gone.
“Since I’ve been sick, I haven’t felt like cooking. It’s hard to stand up a long time, to focus and pay attention and while I don’t cook by recipes, you still have to pay attention. Other than a couple of eggs and seasoning the goose and duck for Christmas, I haven’t cooked.”
South Bound Bagel and Town Square Bakery are his favorite breakfast joints. He also enjoys 206, The Keg, Blu Jazz Café and The Hippo.
It’s friends who have made dealing with his diagnosis easier.
Keg and Barrel owner and good friend John Neal carried Wentworth to his second appointment at Ochsner’s in New Orleans.
They first went to Neal’s beach house on Dauphin Island, ate oysters and watched a soccer game on TV. The next day the two of them, along with another friend, Mitch Hembry, had fajitas and went to Ochsner’s.
“That day I got confirmation that it was ALS,” Wentworth said. “That was really sad, because until then you have a little bit of hope that maybe it’s West Nile, something else, a misdiagnosis, or something serious, but not terminal. You get down there and they say, ‘No, you’ve got ALS.’
“It was real sad. They picked me up and we’d cry a little bit and hug. Then we went to an oyster house, had some more oysters and smoked a cigar.”
Wentworth said Neal has checked on him regularly and a variety of people have called and come by.
“They come over pretty regularly to play guitar and entertain me and what not,” he said.
Another good friend is Tom White, owner at 206, which he describes as “a little more intimate.”
“Tom and I have been buddies for a long time,” said Wentworth. “We tailgate together and he’s really wrapped me up in love as has everyone.”
Up until mid January when Wentworth developed the same cough and crud as everyone in the Pine Belt was experiencing, he’d been out just about every night.
He admits at first he was just trying.
“I found out my diagnosis in early November and spent two to three weeks trying to let people know what was going on,” he said. “When I finally got word out, it was uplifting to be with people. So, I went out just about every night and people would invite me out. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to talk and how long I’ll be able go out and enjoy stuff. I’ve had a pretty steady stream of visitors from out of town – old college mates, just different people.”
During January, he also had a big crew of old college buddies come in from Tennessee.
Even during the time the crud had the best of him, all of his friends were still calling, wanting to visit. “I’m like, man, I’m just worn out. I just need to sleep, so I haven’t seen much of anybody for the past several days and that’s not my normal mode of operation. I really enjoy being around people.”
But with the cough going on, he’s also been in a self-imposed quarantine. “My nurse has me under her thumb making sure I don’t go out, stay up too late and catch something,” he said. It’s his nurse who comes over every day after work to give him his medication through a port he had put in his shoulder.
When friends from out of town come in, Wentworth said they go out to eat, mix and mingle at some of his favorite places and have a beverage, a snack or something with his local friends.
“It’s really been uplifting and really special,” he said. “I’ve just been blown away by how kind and loving people have been.”
Wentworth is like a modern day Norm from the 1980s sitcom, ‘Cheers,’ where everybody yells out his name when he walks into a venue. And everyone knows his name.
On New Year’s Eve, Wentworth wasn’t feeling good because of his cough and was planning on going to bed early even though Cary Hudson was playing at 206.
“All of my friends were texting me because they were down there,” he said. “I took a shower and had a friend here visiting from out of town take me down there.
“For years I’ve always savored life and cherished life and relationships,” he said. “But now that there is a defined amount of time, I might live longer than you or I might die this year, but now you can hear the clock ticking. Before, you think I might die today, I might live to be 100, well I’m not going to live to be 100. I’ll probably die fairly soon and you really cherish each and every interaction you have.
“So, to go out on New Year’s, where probably 20 of my friends were down there, and Cary Hudson and Katrina (Miller), who I love, and friends were playing, there’s a big crowd, people inside and outside, it just warms my heart to savor each embrace of each and every person.”
Wentworth knows he’s losing weight, his thumbs don’t work and he doesn’t know how long he’ll physically be able to hug somebody, so he really makes each day count. “I’m living every day like we should all live every day, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
“That’s always been my philosophy, but you don’t expect it to be tomorrow,” he said. “Well, now tomorrow is defined for me. And again, I might live for years like this and I might have a high level of functioning. But every day I can see decline and you know, my thumbs the last week have about gone numb and when I shower I notice my feet, just like I lost weight in my hands, I see the bones in my feet. I’ve lost all of the muscle in my arms. It’s like every day you’re reminded we don’t know how long we’ve got, but I don’t have as long as most people, so I’m really motivated to love and savor each moment.
“The thing about life and what I’m about, I have a buddy who was snow skiing over Christmas who posted a lot of photos. And I think I can’t do that anymore, and I can’t go bowhunting anymore. I might could fly fish, but not where I want to go. I can fish or kayak in my lake, but that’s not a lot of fun.”
Wentworth is close with his two brothers as well as a couple of first cousins, who are like brothers. “They were going to come this weekend and cut some firewood for me, but they got the crud, so they are staying away,” he said.
Wentworth said he talks to John Neal all the time about the Keg. “I didn’t go there for years and years, but started going several years ago,” he said. “I tell him time and time again that I can buy a beer at a lot of different places cheaper than your beer, but there is a sense of validity amongst my friends that are there, along with the wait staff and bartenders that are there and that’s what brings me back – the sense of community.
“The same thing with Hattiesburlesque shows. The sense of affirmation and the love and acceptance. I’m not even in the show and you can feel it. It’s really special. I don’t know how they pull that off, but it’s pretty phenomenal and very entertaining.”
Wentworth admits that his political beliefs are a lot different than the crowd he hangs out with. Some of them he loves talking politics with because they think for themselves, and “that’s enjoyable to talk about an idea, not debate, but just discuss an idea. Even though my religious beliefs are different, my political beliefs are different, the world I operate in, the business world is very different, I feel nothing but love and acceptance, no judgment, no negativity, no hate, nothing but affirmation, love and acceptance. And it is truly remarkable, truly remarkable, because that’s a very diverse crowd downtown, a very diverse crowd in a good way. But it’s the commonality of an affirmation, the acceptance and nonjudgment.”
Wentworth’s Facebook page is littered with somewhat prophetic quotes, even from back before his diagnosis. It almost seems ironic.
He said the quotes are something he’s always done.
“I have a philosophical bend and those are my favorite background – why we are here, what matters and what’s important. It’s easy. I’m acutely aware of it now. It’s just real easy to get busy with life’s troubles, travails, trying to make a living, trying to make ends meet, sick relatives, friends getting into trouble,” he said. “It’s just hard. And it’s easy to forget what’s important. When I see a quote or take pictures of a word or two that catches my attention, it kind of recenters me. Most of those quotes, many of them, are somewhat philosophical and kind of the common denominator. For most of them are something about what’s important in life and I am focused on that.”
Wentworth said since he became ill and can’t do much that is kind of the underlying exclamation point. “I’ve got some friends who want to come see me and want to know what my schedule is,” he said. “I don’t’ have a schedule. I have an occasional medical appointment and I have a few friends from out of town come to see me, but other than that, I don’t have a schedule, so you look around and see what’s important.”
Wentworth talks about his good friend and musician, Judson Vance, who lives just up the road. Vance was away working for the first month or two his friend was sick and came home just before Christmas.
“I’ve seen him most every day since he’s been home, especially the first couple of days when we had a lot of catching up to do,” Wentworth said. “I just savor those meaningful conversations. He’s a musician, so he’ll always play me a couple of tunes. I love to hear him play.
“To think, I’m only going to have so much more of this I can enjoy and comprehend. My voice is fading, so my ability to have an actual conversation will only diminish.”
Wentworth’s mantra is about being encouraged to live in the moment. “That’s kind of been my mantra for about five or six years – to live in the moment. Because I was always a planner focused on the future. You know, I’m 56. When you turn 50, there’s something about that half century mark that kind of made me stand up and take notice.”
“No, I don’t have a schedule,” he laughs. “My house isn’t as organized as I’d like for it to be, but I only have a couple of hours in the morning when I feel like doing something and a couple of hours in the afternoon and I normally go out at night, so there’s not a lot of time to get a lot done. And I want to spend it with the people I love.
“So, for Judson to come over, even at 11 p.m... One night, my best friend from another town, and I were smoking a Cuban by the firepit and Judson and his girlfriend, who I love, pulled up about 11 p.m. and we talked for an hour or two round the firepit. I just cherish those times, absolutely cherish those times. That’s about all I have anymore. I can still read and watch a good movie, but about all I can do is savor that time with my friends, particularly those who are here in town because they are accessible, but I’ve been really touched.”
Wentworth talks about a buddy he met, a rapper from inner city Atlanta, named Atlanta Prin. “I don’t know him that well and he doesn’t know me that well, but we met on an airplane and kind of connected and have been in touch pretty much since then,” he said. “He’s one of those guys like my circle of friends here and we talk for an hour and I realize, he’s a young guy about 29, and there’s some depth to this fellow. He sees beyond the surface and you listen to his lyrics and once you get past the profanity, there is some real depth there and that’s the kind of folks I want to spend my time with and have exactly what we have while we have it. That’s what I’m trying to focus on.”
Wentworth emphasizes that he’s kind of naive and trusting and that’s mostly by choice.
“Life is hard, just living is hard and it beats us down all the time,” he said. “I really try and focus on what draws us together and on people’s good qualities. Their bad qualities, they don’t need any help exposing those. They expose themselves at the worst time and in the worst way. They don’t need any help from me putting the spotlight on their many faults and I don’t need them putting spotlights on my many faults.
“On the other hand, I like to focus on the good they do and the good they bring. That’s really important to me, because that’s enough. I don’t like to watch dramas typically because I see a lot of drama in real life and in the work I do you hear some really dreadful stuff that happens in the workplace. I’m not doing counseling on the job, but because you are in human resources, people, once they trust you, they’ll tell you things they aren’t comfortable telling others.”
Wentworth said with his friends there are a lot of differences.
“I mean a lot of differences, and you put me with some of the folks I hang out with and you think , ‘That’s an odd couple,’ and yea, if I choose and they choose to focus on what divides us, we’d never have a relationship, but we focus on what unites us and generally it’s about that affirmation and some things we all hold dear and that’s been important for me to focus on that. Since I’ve been sick seeing how people have covered me in love has been really affirming, that it’s good to focus on what brings us together instead of what drives us apart.
“You think about all that people have to put up with, their struggles. I’ve never found any joy in focusing on their shortcomings, and most people, not everybody, but most people have some redeeming features and I like to focus on that. So, it comes across as naïve and trusting and I get burned from time to time, but that’s how I’ve choose to live and I’m glad I’ve done it, It’s paid off.”
Wentworth admits that life has been a great adventure. ‘It makes me sad this is coming to an end. I never thought I’d get to do all this. I’ve been overseas so much. It’s been such fun and my kids have been with me a lot and that’s been fun. It’s just been a great ride.
“I’ve got a positive attitude, a lot of people and everything on my side, but I feel like this is a shitty disease and a shitty fate. But if one has to go through it, then what better way to go through it than enveloped in love and support of the people you care about. It’s been absolutely extraordinary to be surrounded by people who love you. It’s unbelievable. It keeps my spirits up and keeps me hopeful.”