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To Whom It May Concern: I Want a Do Over

09 Sep

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   Life is a hop, skip, and a jump into eternity: one day you’re nineteen and the next day you’re in your sixties trying to figure out just who the hell is staring back at you from the mirror.  I didn’t actually realize that my life was zipping by on a high-speed train until I ran into a middle-aged father with his thirteen-year-old daughter the other day, and he introduced me as his former third-grade teacher.

The speed with which my life is careening toward the great unknown really became evident when my husband (WW) and I kidnapped my mentor (MM) from her assisted living community and took her on a road trip.  We had planned the trip for a year making sure everything we did on our excursion would enhance her well-being, including the blanket, house shoes, and beverage of choice we’d set up in the back of the mini-van.  WW and I even arrived a day before the advent of the trip to spend time in my mentor’s assisted living community to check it out, make sure things were still kosher, and take her and her girlfriends out for a night on the town (6:00 – 8:00 p.m.)

MM and I met when I was sixteen and she was thirty-six, but now I’m sixty-three and she’s eighty-three.  I’m minus a uterus, my nerves are completely shattered, and all my bodily elasticity has disappeared. She is blind in one eye, partially deaf in both ears, and sporting a twelve-inch scar from open-heart surgery that almost killed her. Our week-long vacation together was filled with stories and laughter of how we met and where life had taken us.  But during our trip I became mildly depressed at seeing this once vibrant woman, who had tirelessly “pushed me” out of a life of uneducated drudgery, barely able to get in and out of a car, or read a menu without a 13x magnifying glass, or get through the day without a nap.  The only thing left is her brilliant memory and even it is beginning to show signs of wear.

“What do you miss the most, MM?” I asked as I was helping her get ready for her spa appointment at a posh resort we had checked into.

“Oh, driving, reading, travel, gourmet dining, bending down and being able to get back up — just about everything” she said with a slight chuckle.  “It seems as if with one wave of a wand, I lost what I like to refer to as the ‘I used to’s.’   It wasn’t that long ago that I walked the streets of Africa, woke up to an earthquake in Japan, cruised the Mediterranean, led tours through the Hawaiian Islands, sampled the excellent cuisine of Toronto, and snapped pictures of the glaciers in Alaska from my cruise ship.”

“Oh God, I don’t know what I fear most:  the inability to read anymore or the inability to travel to experience other people and cultures.  Actually, that’s not true.  I fear it all! Oddly enough, I don’t fear dying; I fear the process.  Let me drop dead, right here, right now at your feet, and I’ll be good to go!”

“Well, I think most people feel the way you do.  But old age creeps up on you so fast that the only thing you have time to do is ‘cry uncle,’ take a deep breath, and eliminate the words ‘used to’ out of your vocabulary.  I ‘used to’ do so-and-so will break your heart.  Consequently, you have to substitute the words, ‘instead of.’
Instead of traveling the world, I’ll visit my neighbors every evening in various parts of the building who are shut-ins, and we’ll reminisce about our travels as we munch on the delicious ‘fruit from around the world’ that you
send me every month,” my mentor said as she laughed at the absurdity of it all.

“Kill me now,” I moaned as I finished helping her put on her spa sandals.

“Honey, nothing about living is easy, and getting old could be the worst of the journey,” my mentor said as she patted my cheek.  “I have discovered that life can be something we constantly look back on with regret or courageously look forward to with lowered expectations, unafraid of the changes that are inevitable.”

As I briefly imagined myself six-feet below the ground, I had an internal “hissy fit,” and I decided that acquiescing to old age is a bunch of shit!  I didn’t tell my mentor this, but I’m aligned with the poet, Dylan Thomas, “I will not go quietly into that good night!”  No disrespect to MM (I love her as if she were my own mother), but I hate what getting old represents, and the thought of it makes me want to puke. When I looked around the assisted living center (AL) where my mentor lives, she seemed to be one of the lucky ones.  MM is enthusiastic about life, mentally astute and alert, and the words “adult diapers” are not in her vocabulary.  There were some residents who made me want to cry because their minds and their bodily functions were on the fritz  — some days they remembered who you were, some days they didn’t — like a flickering light bulb that is about to go dead but has a few days of life left in it.  I agree with Truman Capote:  “Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.”  I figure I’ve got about fifteen more years before I get to the climax of my third act,
and what if I’m more like the unlucky ones and less like my mentor?

While I sat in the lounge waiting for MM to finish her massage so that I could help her get dressed, I began to fret over my “third act.” Maybe if I drew up a list of “deal breakers” for my old age that I could put into place while I was still coherent, it might make my twilight years more pleasant.

Eleanor’s Old Age Manifesto (currently open-ended)

I vow to give the lion’s share of my money to the first one of my kids who will (on a weekly basis) come and pluck the “white” hairs (currently growing like weeds) out of my chubby “chocolate” chin when I can no longer see well enough to do so myself.  Apparently, chin hair is one of the first signs that a woman is entering the third act of her life.

  • What I noticed in the AL center: The men were more clean-shaven than the women.  Once proud, Chanel-wearing, school teachers, nurses, secretaries, and politicians had more hair on their chins than on their heads (not exactly, but you get the point). Their attitudes seemed to be, “if I can’t see the 12-inch hairs forming corn-rolls on my lady-chin than maybe you can’t either.”  (Where in the hell were the tweezer brigades:  their daughters, nieces, daughters-in-law, and their gay fashionista sons?)

I vow to invent a filter within the next fifteen years that I can put in my mouth like a retainer that will block any untoward words that can potentially spurt out.  My mouth is a terror now; I can’t imagine what I’ll be like at eighty-three with a “who gives a shit” attitude about life.

  • What I noticed at the AL center:  Old people say and do the darndest things.  As I passed by one old codger sitting in a wheelchair, I greeted him with an enthusiasm I didn’t feel, and he greeted me with a misplaced gusto that had nothing to do with me or that circumstance:  “Kick her in the ass, Mabel — kick her good and hard!”  And then he broke into a 1910 song by Friedman and Whitson: “Let me call you sweetheart, I’m in love with you….”  (Apparently, he does this routine with all the ladies.)  Then when I turned the corner down a random hallway and began to pass a Fred Astaire look-alike, he  gave me the sweetest smile as he tipped his hat and loudly announced:  “FIRE IN THE HOLE!  Best dive for cover,” as a sewer-like odor enveloped my nostrils and almost caused me to faint. (On the other hand, maybe it would be liberating to be as free as the Fred Astaire dude who didn’t break his gait as he waltzed on down the hallway.  He simply dropped a malodorous bomb like “Pepé Le Pew” and whistled a happy tune as if he didn’t have a care in the world.)

I vow to be a gourmet diner until the day I die.   Good food and wine are gifts from God.  I should know since I grew up eating government cheese and powdered eggs.  I think I’ll start a national club for assisted living/nursing home residents while I’m mentally astute: “The Amuse Bouche Club.”  The campaign slogan will be:  “Amuse my palette, you SOB’s – just because I’m old doesn’t mean my taste buds are dead”! 

  • What I noticed at the AL center:  The food in the center had been stripped of all taste. They used no salt, no seasonings, no oil, and no imagination (as if getting old meant losing one’s ability to enjoy food as art or letting go of all culinary creativity), causing the reigning food question from the residents to be: “what the hell is this?”  Most of the people put up with it, but a small contingent led by my mentor were beginning to mutiny.

I vow to travel until the day I die.  However, I realize that my kids may die before me (heaven forbid!) and won’t be able to do what I did for my mentor, so I’m thinking about starting a National Service Plan as part of the Social Security Program:  Travel made easy/a government project.  I’ll fight to close corporate tax loopholes and propose that part of those taxes be used to provide one week per year of free corporate jet travel (with door-to-door limo service) for all AL center and nursing home residents to any destination of their choice.  (For those who think this is socialism, your grandma can opt out.)  In fact, I think I’ll name my governmental projects after those two outstanding champions of the poor and vulnerable: “ARRFH — Ayn Rand Repents from Hell” and “GBFLHS — Glenn Beck Finally Learns How to Share.”

  • What I noticed at the AL center:  Once one is no longer able to drive or navigate public or group transportation, one is pretty much confined to the square footage of AL facilities unless family members step into the gap.  If your family doesn’t give a shit or they are all deceased, you are screwed.  I could have sworn I saw some of the same people in the same chairs at the same tables they were in the previous year.  One old dude was asleep at the dining table when I entered and was still asleep in the same spot three hours later when I passed him.

I vow to kick to the curb any ideologies and individuals whose preconceived ideas and prejudices try to stifle my intellectual and spiritual growth (I vow to never stop being curious).

  • What I noticed at the AL center: The people who stopped being curious about life or who were dogmatic and spiteful in their youth seemed to shrivel up and become mean-spirited and disengaged in their twilight years when they most needed to be patient, gracious, and loving in a group living situation with different races, genders, and religions.  There is one old lady who comes to dinner every night, never speaks a word to her table mates, and reads a book all through dinner.  When her table mates confronted her about her anti-social behavior, she simply said, “Oh?” and went back to reading her book.  Ironically, she is not one of the members of my mentor’s book club.

I vow to become more and more like my mentor who seems to be grace personified in old age and whose service to the foster kids she helped, as well as the ailing peers she serves, makes us want to give back to her in any way we can so that her “third act” ends gracefully and with dignity.

*********

I’m discovering as I lie writhing in pain from my first Zumba exercise yesterday, I can say anything I want, but when and how I age is completely out of my control.  I mean I can exercise more, eat better, floss more diligently, but there is all sorts of shit out there that can bring you down before you even know it.  Maybe our declining years don’t have as much to do with our individual needs, as it does with the community connected to us.  Maybe it is God’s way of saying, if I didn’t make you vulnerable in some part of your lives, you wouldn’t need each other; it is in the serving of the needy that one sees the face of God (“. . .what you do for the least of them, you do for me,” Jesus said).  It’s been a week and I’m discovering that kidnapping my mentor, taking her on a vacation — something she thought she’d never do again — was an act of service that did as much for me as it did for her.  I did see the face of God in her (love, patience, peace, grace, kindness), and she saw that her time and energy had not been wasted on me.

“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of
disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
Edith Wharton US novelist (1862 – 1937)

All text and photos by Eleanor and John Tomczyk © 2011

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit
is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
36 Comments

Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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36 responses to “To Whom It May Concern: I Want a Do Over

  1. thisoldlife

    September 9, 2011 at 3:43 am

    I love this story – what a great life philosophy you’ve created!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2011 at 3:51 am

      Thanks for stopping by. Please sample some of the other stories — especially when you need a laugh and a thought to chew on. Cheers!

       
  2. georgefloreswrite

    September 9, 2011 at 4:02 am

    We had to put my grandmother and my great aunt into a nursing home. It was very difficult for us. We’re latinos and the norm is that everyone stays together, so we had uncles, grandkids, grandparents and everyone living with us at certain times. But Alzheimer’s and debilitating illnesses got the better of us and we had to make the hard choice. They’re gone now, but I still regret that time apart.

    I’m sorry that your mentor is where she is, but I think it is great what you have done for her. Don’t go gently into that good night because the human race needs people like you more than ever. People with the courage and grace to do what needs doing and help others.

     
    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      George: Your brief comment about your family brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I were recently talking about the fact that nursing homes are a new phenomenon in most ethnic families because community is or used to be so strong. I know there comes a time when illness (especially Alzheimers) can break the backs of the caregivers and nursing and hospice help is a must. I just wish we could figure out a way to keep the wealth of history and family values (the culture) flowing from the grandma or great aunt and uncle to the younger generations when the older family members need to transition to assisted living or nursing care. Now that I think about it, one of the things I should have done was interview my mentor about what made her reach out to rescue me in my youth — what motivated her to sacrifice so much of her time and money? My kids need to hear this first hand and then pass it onto their kids so that they will be motivated to do the same.

       
      • georgefloreswrite

        September 10, 2011 at 2:19 am

        Sorry about that Eleanor, I didn’t mean to make you sad. You are right about it being a new phenomenon and I think it might be because the family sizes are smaller in later generations, a bad economy, and selfishness coupled with the belief that old people are useless ( a glorification of youth). All I know is that I don’t like what I see. What we did to combat that loss was to bring the children with us and show them pictures of great-grandma when she was young and share the stories with them. Beyond that, I don’t know what more could be done because you are right about that being a wealth. I hope you do ask your mentor about her reasons. I get the feeling that, and maybe I’m being superstitious and illogical, you will find that her beliefs in what was right and good became so habitual and ingrained in her that she became a living instrument of The Boss. Whatever the reason, though, she did something that most of us only do for our own kin, she chose you as family in a way and helped you. I might not be making sense, I’m feeling philosophical tonight and can’t put what I want into the right words.

         
      • etomczyk

        September 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

        George: You’ve made perfect sense and you’re absolutely correct. God bless!

         
  3. Maggie Ingram

    September 9, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Wow, another fabulous story. And by the way, MM looked so good by the “fire lights”. Those brought back good memories for me as well. Recently having spent almost three weeks at the Assisted Living Place my mom was in, I came out of there every night wanting to cry because of the obviously lonely people who had no family to check in or make sure they were being taken care of, and about the horrific food. Unbelievable. I will help in your organization to have only remarkable, taste blowing wine and food for these precious folks in their senior years. So glad you and WW listened to MM’s needs and kidnapped her. You both are wonderful. Love you

     
    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      WW and I thought of you when we took that picture. Also, the odd thing about the Assisted Living facility of my mentor is that it is one of the better ones (sparkling clean, good basic services, and they really try hard to keep the residents intellectually and physically stimulated). I just think — like everything — much more involvement from the public is needed because there is not enough staff. They could use something like a kick-ass old people’s PTA. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in an assisted living facility that is sub-par. Yikes!

       
  4. TheIdiotSpeaketh

    September 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Wonderful post! MM is indeed priviledged to have you as a friend 🙂

     
    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Please try on some more of the stories when you need a good laugh. Cheers!

       
  5. Sondra

    September 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I loved this story….You and I are the same age, facing the same possibilities. I used to look after a 90 year old woman that lived in one of those places. It was very nice, filled with former, Doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and people that once made a difference. The woman that I looked after still read the economist……What was so sad is that these people that once contributed so much no longer mattered. Their lives had deteriorated to what was on the menu and when the next bingo game would start.
    I am thinking that we should start our own AL center!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      No, you know I wouldn’t have the patience to run one of these centers. There are too many things I couldn’t control: errant relatives and onery residents. If they were all like my mentor, then it would be a breeze, but unfortunately, life is never like that. Now you might have the patience — in fact, I’m sure you would!

       
  6. notquiteold

    September 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    This is lovely. I just went through my father’s deterioration and ultimate death. The worst part was that he wasn’t my Dad anymore.
    As i visited at the nursing home, I was overwhelmed by the loneliness. The people who sit in the hallways reminded me of orphaned pets and the shelter. How they seek attention. There were times when it took me a very long time to get to my Dad’s room. I couldn’t bear NOT to say hello to each person. It might be the only hello they get that day, and how can I not give them at least that?

     
  7. TexasTrailerParkTrash

    September 10, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Wonderful post! I loved every part of it, especially your manifesto. When my Dad died at age 82, he just suddenly keeled over one morning. He was here one minute and gone the next. It was difficult to accept because there were no good-byes, but in the time since then I’ve come to think that he was one of the lucky ones. He got to live in his own home and do what he had always enjoyed right up to the last day. Not such a bad deal, when you think about it.

    Zumba! I’ve started doing it too and love it. Sure, I sweat like a hog and feel like a heifer out there on the exercise floor, but damn, I love to dance even if I do feel like a fool. You keep going, girl!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Hi Texas TrailerPark Trash (I love the name, by the way). Thanks for stopping by. I want what your father had — I want that for me and my husband. It just breaks my heart to witness the alternative. But of course, therein lies the rub — I am not in control.

      Zumba! I’ve got to do something. Somehow, I’ve turned into a double-decker Hershey’s Kiss and I’m not pleased. But like you, I do love to dance, so we’ll see if it works. I can feel a blog post out of it all, at least. Please drop by and read other stories in the Archives when you need a laugh. I’ll definitely venture over your way again…you’ve got quite the blog! Cheers.

       
  8. BisonWoman

    September 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I love your post and your writing! I totally agree with Dylan Thomas–so much so that it was one of my favorites to teach in literature classes. Kenny Chesney’s song “Don’t Blink” also speaks to the high-speed rate of life you write about.

    I’m glad I found your blog!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for dropping by. How did you find me? I’ll defintely swing by your way. I love seeing what other bloggers (especially good ones) have done with their sites. It is still a learning process for me. All the best!

       
      • BisonWoman

        September 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

        Thanks for checking out my blog. I’m still learning, too–mainly just by doing. I read your comment on the White After Labor Day blog that was on Fresh Pressed a few days ago. I loved the title of your blog, so I had to check it out. 😀 All the best to you, too!

         
  9. Joanida Rodriguez

    September 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I love this story, I love your perspective and I couldn’t agree more. I’m 33 now, my mother is 66 and my grandmother is 89. I remember looking at my mother when I was 6 and wishing I had her beauty and her strength. She would look at her mother and wish she had her wisdom. I now look at my mother and wish I could do more for her. She now looks at her mother and the concern is written all over her face. It’s like looking into a time machine…

    May we all be so lucky as your mentor to have someone to come around and rescue us once a year. And PLEASE OH PLEASE have someone around to plunk those chin hairs!

    All the best,
    J~

     
    • etomczyk

      September 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      Beautifully written about the generational looking glass. God, I hate the third act! May you all continue to connect as the twilight years come closer. Three generations of women — what history there must be.

       
  10. Rebecca

    September 13, 2011 at 4:41 am

    What a great story! Thank you for sharing it!

     
  11. diggingher

    September 14, 2011 at 12:16 am

    I usually realize my age when I look at my now young adult children and their friends. We really don’t see how fast it is whizzing past until we take the time to reflect back. Thanks for the blog and the perspective. BTW I found you when you posted to another blog and your comment spoke to me.
    Paige

     
    • etomczyk

      September 14, 2011 at 1:34 am

      Paige: Thanks so much for dropping by. Please come again when you need a good laugh.

       
  12. class factotum

    September 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    You left out, “I vow to start smoking!” I intend to. Both of my grandmothers made it to 97 and lived on their own (with help) until 95. My one grandmother used to sneak out to the back of the assisted living place for a cigarette with my uncle. By that age, who cares if it will give you cancer? She didn’t have it yet.

    I intend to start smoking when I am 70, unless I don’t have any wrinkles yet. I don’t want smoker’s mouth. But once I start wrinkling anyhow, I am going to smoke. I will also gamble, curse, and hang out with bad influences.

     
    • etomczyk

      September 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Oh, my gosh! Your comment is one of the funniest ever left on my blog. I read it aloud to my husband and when we got to the line: “But once I start wrinkling anyhow, I am going to smoke. I will also gamble, curse, and hang out with bad influences.” We have been laughing hysterically for the last 10 minutes. You’re so right! What a hoot! (I also plan to eat anything I want — I’m so sick of dieting!) Thank you so much for dropping by. I’ve peeked at your blog but plan to go back for a longer visit once I get some more time. Pleasure meeting you!

       
  13. imagesbytdashfield

    September 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    You are on a roll here, love it! I could tell you some stories about NH’s that would be both funny and make you cry. And somebody actually had the balls to jack your story and put it on their blog? Sooooooooo wrong!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      TDashfield: Read the “Sneaky Snake’s Blog” story again. It’s an existential satire! None of it is real except how I met my husband and the story of the Lovings. Yahweh = God; Sneaky Snake = the Devil, and all the characters leaving comments have been dead from anywhere to 5 years to hundreds of years! You weren’t the only one who thought I was serious. I have a couple of fans who were really upset on my behalf at my blog getting stolen! I was going to add the disclaimer at the beginning of the post that “this is a satire” but now it’s causing way too much fun! Unless of course, you’re playing along with your question 🙂

       
      • imagesbytdashfield

        September 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

        See! This is what happens when I’m tired and I try to read and blog! LOL Thanks for the clarification. Will read it again after morning coffee 😉 My growing older list includes just do whatever the hell I feel like (without major bodily injury or being arrested) cause I may not get that chance again!

         
  14. deborahjhughes

    September 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Totally enjoyed this! Though my sentiments are quite in line with yours…I hate the idea of growing old…more because I don’t want to be dependent on anyone but myself…and maybe my husband just a bit! Life is difficult and sad but it has its worthwhile moments! My grandfather was always saying he didn’t want to live to the point that he couldn’t get around and take care of himself. He died at 72 of a stroke. I thought of him as being in the prime of his life. He got around just fine and was very active. I was pretty angry that God took him “so young”. But, Grampy got what he wanted and I have to be grateful for that. I guess, in the end, it’s what I want for myself. Active to the end. Blessings to you!!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      Yes, my lady. I want the same as your Grampy. Isn’t that delightful and heartwarming that you remember him in his prime instead of him withering away? I know I have no control over my exit, just as I had none over my entrance, but I do hope God has mercy on me and my sweet husband. All the best to you and thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you do so again.

       
  15. boomer98053

    October 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I very much enjoyed your posting. I’m in and out of Assisted Living (AL) facilities all the time because of the advocacy work I do for Seniors. Your observations are spot on. There is humor, and sadness, in most of these places; some of it reliant on how the staff treats the residents and some of it reliant on the attitudes that the residents have chosen to adopt for themselves. I have met residents who are going for the gusto in their later years because of a decision they made to do so. The flip side of that, however, is that many residents – due to their illness (physical and/or cognitive) have very few decisions remaining due to their dependence on others to take care of them. I think you and I, and others in our general age category, can observe what we like, and don’t like, about a potential AL residency in our future, and plan to make adjustments that suit our individual needs. I simply hope that I’ll remember what I’m learning now, when I’m faced with that challenge. I hope you, and others, will check into my blog: babyboomersandmore, so that we can converse with each other about the road that lays ahead of us.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      Thank you so much for your wonderful response. I wish I had known about your blog when I wrote the story about my mentor because I would have linked it to the story. If I write anything else about age, I will definitely tie in your blog. I perused it earlier today an just love the insight and the quality information that is available. God bless you and your efforts. All the best.

       
  16. emanita01

    October 11, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Hey Lady! I know it’s written that I cannot “Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.”

    But for one I’m part of RoughWaterJohn’s pirate crew and for two, if you don’t want your writings being pilfered aand shared, you have no other choice than to stop writing such wonderful posts that make them pearls which NEED to be shared! LOL (Yes, I did read that exracts are permitted, but warning, warning, even if they weren’t, that would NOT prevent me from sharing ’em! Pirate, remember…LOL! Can’t resist gold nugget-sharing 😀

    Thank you for writing this one 🙂

    http://fodder4thinking.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/on-getting-old-there-are-choices-to-be-made/

     
    • etomczyk

      October 11, 2011 at 11:16 am

      Well Emanita: I don’t know what to say. Is this one of those “it is better to ask forgiveness later rather than permission now…”? And who the hell is RoughWater John’s Pirate Crew? Is that recognized as a legitimate club amongst legitimate writers?

      I do appreciate the flattery, I must say 🙂 but if you love my writings so much, my dear, why am I not listed as one of your “Other nifty blogs and websites”? I think that is the least that you can do having utilized copious exerpts of my material to give you a post this week. I’m just sayin’. . . . 🙂

       
  17. Mal

    October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I LOVED this, and admire your vivacious spirit! This is the frame of mind we all must have as we get older. I have a favourite quote for all this…

    “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon our heart. The spirit should never grow old.” James A. Garfield

    …and that’s the way the cookie crumbles! 😀

     
    • etomczyk

      October 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      …indeed, Mal. Thanks so much for returning. You are the demographic I’m writing for and it is so rewarding to hear when I strike a chord. Take care. Eleanor

       

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