Caregiving In America

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Ever notice that there are more new drugs on the market every day? And just the side effects, alone, can make your pulse quicken. In 2016, we should be curing diseases not still suffering from them. Why is healthy, affordable living so out of our reach?

Watch any black and white film (and even most current ones) and there’s not an actor to be found without his/her lips wrapped around a cigarette. People sometimes have to work at jobs surrounded by carcinogenic substances because that’s all they are qualified to do. We can’t start living in bubbles so what’s a person to do?

It’s true, for the most part, that we are living longer but we’re not fully prepared to care for our loved ones when they reach those new stages of life. Once upon a time, your grandmother might have lived with you and helped raise you while your parents worked. Don’t these same selfless people deserve our love and support? Not everyone can afford to take on that responsibility but… isn’t it worth looking into other options?

It’s not unusual to see multiple videos on social media showing stray animals being rescued and given another chance at life. Shouldn’t we do at least that much for our elders?!

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Let’s Trade Up

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We’ve all complained, at one time or another, that life was unfair. Some people make more money than others and some people are just born into it. Some people have more kids than they should have and others can’t have even one.

Well, guess what? Life isn’t always fair. My Mom always told me (as her mother told her) that if everyone put their problems in the middle of the room, you’d grab yours and run like hell.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why but, then, I don’t make the rules. I just have to live by them. We all do. Ever hear the expression: “sell your soul to the devil?” Some people are willing to give up almost anything to get what they want. But most things like that come with too big a price tag (and not just financially speaking).

So, what would you be willing to give up everything for… Your family? Your health? Let’s hope you never have to find out!

A Perfect Marriage

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A man and a woman had been married for 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other, except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box but, one day, the little old woman got sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife’s bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found 2 crocheted dolls and a stack of money totalling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married, my grandmother told me the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved he had to fight back the tears. Only 2 precious dolls were in the box. She had only been mad at him 2 times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the dolls but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the dolls!”*

*Author Unknown

High School Reunions

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Reunions are a great time to take stock of how fortunate you really are. A lot of people use these occasions to see how well (or not) their ‘friends’ fared. We take pride in looking thinner (women), hairier (men) and less wrinkled (both) than our contemporaries. It doesn’t matter the circumstances that brought them to that state – we’re always quick to ‘judge a book by its cover.’

Abraham Lincoln wrote: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Elderly people understand this sentiment. The rest of us, sorry to say, do not. Or at least not yet…

Older people rarely regret things they did. They only regret things they didn’t do. When you’re younger you feel invincible and think there will always be tomorrow. But, sadly, sometimes tomorrow never comes. What then?

You try to live each day as if it’s your last, you try to be kind and compassionate toward others and you never, ever (as my grandmother always said) go out without first applying lipstick and a little blush!

 

FYI… my Mom is the dark-haired beauty in the back row, second from the left!

Over The Hill

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Over the hill… depending on which century you were born in, the end of that sentence could go one of two ways:

1) and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go OR

2) you old bag o’ bones

Those of us born in the 20th century most likely think of Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf. The rest of you probably think about the rest of US old timers. That could mean anyone over the age of 30 or pretty much anyone who still remembers:

  • cassette tapes
  • cordless phones
  • FAX machines

But, as they say, you’re only as old as you feel. Or, in dog years, you’re already dead. Or, forty isn’t old if you’re a tree. Or, once you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. Or, as I choose to think of it, I’d rather be over the hill than under it!

Once Is Enough

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There’s a saying: Everything old is new again. The older we get, we start to really see the value of this statement. As a mom, I always found it quite amusing when one of my kids would ask if I’d heard of a particular band – one that was still around but that I remembered (with all its original members) from my own childhood.

Sometimes, when going through my closets, I know I should be gathering up items that I haven’t worn and taking them to Goodwill. Instead, I’ll try them on, see that they still fit and convince myself that they’ll come back in style someday. Remarkably, they usually do.

So… Music can still sound good after all these years. Clothing can suddenly be ‘in’ after being ‘out’ for a spell. But one thing that you should never hold onto – even if you think you’ll use it again – is the dreaded tissue.

I remember my grandmother always stashing tissues in her sleeve for possible later use. My Mom (her daughter) continues in that tradition because you never know when the world might run out of them. Granted, tissues are useful for a number of things:

1) Blowing your nose
2) Wiping off lipstick
3) Stuffing your bra (when you’re prepubescent)
4) Crying at funerals (or sad movies)

But, mostly, they’re a disposable item and (since they’re fairly easy to come by) should not be stored inside your long-sleeved shirt. Ever. Seriously, how many other ‘cleaning wipes’ do we keep on our person after they’ve been used?

The answer is an astounding None. Zero. Zilch. Tissues are light, airy and small because once the job is done… you roll ’em up into a ball and you throw them out!