Making the Most of Your Time Together

Finding inspiration in residents’ family stories, Patrick McShane wrote a heartwarming book about connecting with his father.
Patrick McShane
June '23

There is no better time than now to embrace meaningful conversations with our loved ones. Patrick McShane, Director of Sales and Marketing at New Pond Village, was deeply inspired by the memorable family tales shared by our residents. This inspired him to embark on a personal journey to discover his own family stories, ultimately leading him to write his heartwarming book, “Five Days with Dad.”

Released on March 1, 2023, the book serves as a poignant reminder to connect with our loved ones in meaningful ways while we still can.

“I joke with new residents that I know more about their lives in the first hour of them being here than their children do,” Patrick says. “We talk about their aspirations, goals and challenges.”

Upon reflection, Patrick realized he knew more about the New Pond Village residents than he did about his own parents. “We were close,” he recalls, “but they never shared those deep-dive stories.”

Determined to uncover his family’s stories, he started taking notes after visits with his parents. However, when his 91-year-old father fell ill, he realized there would only be a few more opportunities for conversation. He booked a flight to be by his father’s side, knowing it was likely his last opportunity to be with him.

Discovering more family history

Patrick spent five precious days with his dad and made the most of that time together. He asked questions and recorded every response. “I had heard a lot of cursory stories before,” he says. “There was incredible satisfaction in asking more questions.”


During their talks, Patrick discovered new details about his dad’s World War II injury and the year he spent in a military hospital. There were fond childhood memories of the long-shuttered Candyland in Waltham and its shopkeeper, Boris. The collection of memories spanned generations of McShanes.

One year after his father passed away, Patrick began typing his notes to share with his siblings. He found enough information and inspiration to create a book, which became “Five Days with Dad.” This uplifting read offers comfort and support about a difficult reality everyone will inevitably experience.

“We all will be faced with saying goodbyes, and they’re horrible,” Patrick says. “By the same token, the worse it feels in the end, the better relationship it probably was.” He adds, “People tell me they laugh as much or more than they cry when they read the book.”

Patrick now leads sessions at New Pond Village, where he encourages others to capture their family stories and make the most of their time together. His inspirational story has also captivated the local community and was featured in the MetroWest Daily News and the Patch.

“People often feel like, as you count down the conversations, you’re supposed to have this hallmark moment,” Patrick says. “There’s no blueprint or rules. This is not a book where I say I have all the answers, but rather if you feel like you don’t have the answers, you’re not alone.”

Immerse yourself in Patrick’s new book by delving into his recent interviews. Tune into WFEA to listen, and watch his NECN interview with host Natalie Lizarraga. During the interviews, Patrick shares valuable advice for those looking to initiative meaningful conversations with their parents.

Meet Patrick at New Pond Village.