Resiliency and Life Lessons

By Nancy Black Norelli


I have a new friend, Greg Parent, who is a premier mediator, which means he is very prescient and understands people and solves problems. After eliciting a thumbnail sketch of my personal history,  he gave me a new moniker – one who cannot be killed.
Of course, I have had a lot of scary life experiences and I will own that I am very resilient.  But experiences like that do not give you a choice!
When I responded to a group text to my church circle last week that I had gotten “cleaned up” before watching our virtual worship service and had gotten more out of the service.  Some on the text probably thought that was a silly comment and certainly, God takes us unshowered and without mascara. But what makes us whole?  
A nun speaking on the topic of caregiving to the Junior League years ago noted the importance of dressing up for hospital visits and perching on the edge of the bed. In doing so, we become a gift to the patient.
As I have had some quiet time, I realize what would kill me. Being sequestered. 
I thrive on trusted relationships, both personal and professional. These life long relationships are filled with receiving private revelations of life events, handshakes, celebrations, shared tears, hugs, and more hugs. And just looking pretty, just for them. As I write this, a collage of faces of whom I long to hug float through the morning air.  
Time to be resilient in the midst of near sequestration. Find gratitude. For the sparrow who sings just to me every morning, grandchildren who are two blocks away, friends who call and sometimes rock on our front porch, long video phone calls with my daughter in Spain, a son who flies in to solve household issues, televised worship from First Presbyterian Church, nice stationery for notes to those in need, neighborhood children who giggle and wave as they ride by on their bikes, my yellow bicycle, clients who accept a virtual relationship and outdoor document executions – and mostly for my husband of 49 years who appreciates the life I cobble together with long walks, old movies, political dialog, great breakfasts and dinners and who forgives the sad, ridiculous lunches.
No. COVID reality is not going to kill me.



Nancy Black Norelli brings her experience as a District Court Judge in Mecklenburg County to her role as a mediator. Nancy served as a judge for eight years where she presided over 60 civil jury trials and 1,000 Family Court matters as well as more than 7,000 other cases. She also spent a year handling cases across North Carolina as an Emergency Judge. The Superior Court has certified Nancy as a mediator since 1997. She is also certified as a Federal Mediator, Family Financial Mediator and Estates and Guardianship Mediator. Nancy is the founder and principal attorney at Norelli Law in Charlotte