Still a dreamer…Old Memories and New Hopes

Archive for July, 2014

The Feelings Never Go Away

My husband died so suddenly almost ten years ago. He was 73 and looked and acted so much younger. His death was sudden and a shock. Grief has turned, in time, to gratitude. I am so lucky to have had him in my life for almost 50 years. His pictures, energy, and love, have given me comfort. A new relationship? Not in the cards for me so far. I tried internet dating and while it might work for some, for me it would be a miracle. I’m fine, really I am with so much love and devotion from family and friends. I have a life. But, there are always those moments, and I want to share the words of Pablo Neruda from his 100 Love Sonnets, speaking of romantic love. They may give someone the emotional warmth they give me.
“If only love would spread its savor through me!-not to go one moment more without spring! What I sold into sorrow was only my hands, dearest:
now leave me with your kisses.
Shut out the month’s light with your fragrance; close all the doors with your hair. Only do not forget, if I wake up crying it’s only because in my dream I’m a lost child.
hunting through the leaves of the night for your hands, for your caresses like the wheat, the flashing rapture of shadow and energy.
O my dearest, nothing but shadow there where you walk with me through your dream: you tell me when the light returns.”
For my world to read. I love you Barry and will for the rest of my life.

Ida and Her Secrets?

Unforgettable….that is how I would describe Ida. We met at the Senior Residence, living and loving her Independent Living situation. Her own apartment and totally self sufficient. She describes herself as a “short, chatty Asian.” I would say positive, cheerful, and wonderful. My son visits his mother in law at the same place and calls Ida The Mayor. Everyone knows Ida. Loving energy obvious to all who meet her, and she is only 92. Difficult to tell age today, and the older I get, the younger everyone becomes. I also think of old age starting at 104. Magical thinking and denial are a necessity, for me. Ida is charming, vivacious, beautiful inside and out, and I had to know all her secrets. We didn’t have too much time, because she was so busy and in the dining room, she works the room, saying hi to everyone. It seems not just me, but everyone loves Ida. A few days later, I called , and asked if I could do a mini interview. I had to know what her secrets were, even though I had a good idea about the positive energy for one. So first I asked about skin. She must have some sort of formula that she makes in her room I thought. So her answer to the skin question. “Oh I use only soap and water. I don’t use anything else”. OK I thought, what about nutrition and exercise? “Oh I never exercise and the only time I started eating healthy was when I moved here.” and she added, “people all said I knew everyone soon after I moved in. No, everyone knew me.” I can certainly understand why everyone would want to be with Ida. She laughs with sheer joy in her light. I was overjoyed when she told me “I was a bright beginning to her week.” That left me with a smile for days, even now months later as I think of her. She was widowed twice and her son lives near and visits. She said “she doesn’t dwell on sadness or loss. She doesn’t make life a struggle. Not very religious. Loves the community life she is part of and checks the calendar everyday to make sure she hasn’t left anything out of her schedule.I don’t want to miss anything.” She considers herself a people person and she shares so many of the positive personality traits my friend Edith practices at 96. Ida said “if you want a friend, you have to be a friend.” When you meet Ida, you never forget her. Her caring ways, stopping at everyone’s table to say hi, and make sure all are doing well. She smiles, you smile back.Her joy is contagious. She has a drink on her birthday, but otherwise doesn’t drink alcohol.
So my new friend Ida and her secrets. Making others feel good. That’s not a secret, that’s an art.

Individuality Can Be Wonderful

You don’t have to fit the mold. Make your own shape……………

I Can See Me!!

My eye doctor suggested surgery. As much as I try not to obsess about “the numbers” the facts speak for themselves. Cataracts are age related. Rarely are they not age related. So looking on the bright side, you have to live long enough to need cataract surgery. The right eye, and then two weeks later, not to be left out, the left eye. Thank goodness “third eyes” are not operable. So realizing my good fortune, I wanted to turn this into a positive experience, and might as well have an eye lift at the same time. Unfortunately, the eye surgeon was not enthusiastic about my idea, and immediately knocked it down laughing.
According to Web MD, cataract surgery is successful for 85-92 out of 100 adults. Not bad odds. Once I made up my mind to go for it, a little surprise bag arrived from the drug store. Three tiny plastic bottles. Eye drops to be taken before and after surgery. Two of the bottles, five days before, and the third, after, and to take until all finished. $94 and according to the drug store, I saved hundreds of dollars having a prescription plan. Outrageous in my opinion, the cost of drugs.Now the hard part, to remember to take four times a day, five minutes apart. Sounds easy for most, but not for me. Didn’t take long to figure out I needed to write down names and times and then it became easy…..most of the time.
I was told to be at Manhattan Eye and Ear at 7:30 am. If there had been a motel on 64th Street for $49 a night, I would have been tempted. Going to sleep at 2am and waking up at 6am is not a great combination. The night before, with a little help from Ambien, I went to sleep at 12. Have my own morning routine, re yoga, weights, standing on my head, etc etc and got up at 6:45. Nothing to eat or drink after 12am. As my mother would say, “this should be the worst thing you go through.” Very grateful it’s considered easy and safe.
I arrived at the hospital at 7:10, and felt I was checking into a Five Star Hotel. Everyone was eager to please and charming and hospitable, ( tiny pun)…..I was surprised I was quite calm. Not many fatalities with this type of surgery. Everyone I knew described it as miracle outcomes, and saw immediate results.
I was given the gown, that ties in the back, a warm robe, ugly slippers, and a cotton hat, to cover all hair. I waited until the last minutes to put the hat on and tried to give it a little French beret slant, but it still looked like a weird shower cap. I looked around at my fellow patients all in the same garb. We could have been at a Senior Center waiting for bingo to start. Everyone was about the same age.
Not sure of the statistics as to how many cataract patients are kidnapped from the hospital. I was asked about 8 times, 8 different aids and nurses, what my name was and date of birth, while checking my wrist band. When I asked about the kidnapping aspect, no one thought it was humorous. “All for security reasons,” I was told.
I felt a little empowered by some research I did on the internet. Many doctors do not like patients surfing the internet. Way too much information. What I was pleased to find out was I had a choice, whether to be put out mildly for the 20 minutes surgery, or just given a mild sedative. I wanted to be up and alert and asked for the Valium route.Not sure how up and alert I was, since I remember absolutely nothing except being back in my room and ready to go home with my friend who was picking me up. Felt fine, and given papers and booklets with instructions and all the what if’s. Fortunately none of the what if’s happened. No weights, no standing on my head, and no eye makeup for ten days. I didn’t realize the healing process takes about a month. Had check up appointment the next day and all went well. I do see improvements and will have the next one done in two weeks.
…………………………………the one downside? I don’t look in the mirror often, but when I did, I can see me quite clearly now and could really use an eye lift.

O….The Oprah Magazine June 2014

Brave, wonder-filled, show women of every age, looking absolutely marvelous, wrinkles and all. Beauty of heart and soul shining brightly from within. How refreshing to experience them. Would love to see the entire magazine devoted to women over 60 who have secrets of their own to share. Perhaps bodies as well!!!! Browse any fashion magazine ( I rarely do) and what do you see? Styled women in their 20’s,30’s 40’s and some daring enough to go to the 50’s. It then ends. Where are the women 60-100? We’re out there. Reading, going to every cultural event, contributing, shopping and adding to economy still, living…. Having dinner with women friends, and what might be shocking? Drinking, having sex with or without a partner. Where legal, some even smoking weed. Why are their voices unheard?…In O there was a full-page devoted to a 100-year-old woman, still teaching and offering her wisdom. Proof that if in good health, age is just a number, not a limitation.. Wish more magazines would take the plunge.Jane Fonda at 76 doesn’t deny aging and her own mortality. She said “With age, I am able to appreciate beauty in small things, more than when I was younger, perhaps because I pay attention more.” Perhaps the media should pay more attention to women that can add their wisdom to the world.


Thirty five years ago I met a new friend at a writing workshop. I had an idea for a book that I then decided what I was so sure about writing, I became unsure. My new friend suggested we do the book together, and that was the birth of our book together. She lived in New York City and I lived at the time in New Jersey. A genuine New Jersey housewife. My husband loved the whole idea of the book, and was very supportive ,but never understood the forever process…a forever process. The book is about two unlikely women becoming best friends forever, and their romp through middle age with a bit of astrology, revenge, and told secrets. My co-author said Thelma and Louise meet Wall Street and I added, but with a happier ending. These evolved women are not the type to go off a cliff, especially in a convertible.I have many creative souls on Twitter and we share in the process of trying to get our projects acknowledged. We sent out the manuscript to several, not many agents and they all said the same thing. Good writing, would make a good movie, and good plot…..but I guess not good enough to publish. True, the publishing business is not great right now and self publishing seems to be the way many writers are going. We want the old fashion way, and hope someday to get an agent who believes in our book. Amazing that I just don’t get discouraged. Disappointed perhaps at times. I truly believe the right person hasn’t read the book. A movie because the women are in their 50’s would be a terrific opportunity for so many women actors. Magical thinking? I don’t think so, I believe in timing. I will keep you posted. Good luck to any creative souls reading this who also have dreams. Timing!!!!!