Past, present and future…

One pair of maternal great-grandparents, buried in Grand Rpids Michigan.

Great great-grandparents, born in Zeeland, Netherlands, immigrated in 1854 and buried in Grand Rapids Michigan.

I read an article this week in Next Avenue, a publication directed to seniors produced by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and delivered via local affiliate PBS stations. I find many of the articles in this newletter interesting but but I found one article, entitled, “Five Things Seniors Should Do” irritating and I thought I would solicit some feedback from blog readers.

I can only recall three of the items, so the two I forgot must not have impressed me favorably or otherwise. The three I remember are, 1/ don’t talk about the past; 2/ don’t complain about your ailments;  3/ always wear your best jewelry.

1/ I am experiencing all sorts of memory bubbles, so the past is more real than the present for me.  Unfortunately, a memory bubble pops up and disappears as fast as it appeared.  Thus I tend to repeat myself, as does David.  If I ever stop having memory bubbles, I can always go back and reread my old journals.

2/ As for ailments, seniors I know talk about their ailments all the time.  We meet up at the hospital, in doctor’s offices, restaurants, the grocery store, and the senior center to discuss our woes, the exercise we are not doing, house repairs, or something else of interest like the cost of food or grandchildren.  Surprisingly, seniors have similar complaints and shared experiences. We’re all taking the same meds and enriching the pharmacy companies. Many seniors belong to something called the Senior Associates Program through our local hospital center.

We meet many young people who have migrated here from all over the US and the world and dedicated their work careers to the health professions.  Most recently, David’s in-home physical therapist was first generation Indian-American descent, his nurse Chinese-American, and his occupational therapist from Poland. When we talk to these kids, we ask them about themselves…mostly.

3/ As for jewelry, I don’t have best jewelry.  Most of my jewelry was never very expensive to begin, and some of it, like the solid gold earrings David bought for me one Christmas are so heavy they give me a headache. I’ve given many antigue pieces to my daughter and grandaughters and tossed a lot of junk.

I could have bought expensive jewelry when I was working and making big bucks, but I didn’t. My watch, wedding and undergraduate class ring sit in a jewelry box, seldom worn anymore.

While I was writing this I remembered one of the things I forgot from the list of five, but its gone away again. I think it had something to do with grandchildren and their photos.

                                                                    —000—

Update on David – the surgeon walked into the consulting room yesterday and looked at his knee and said, “that’s perfect.” David begins outpatient physical therapy on Monday with tall blonde Megan.

I dragged him to the pharmacy where we recovered his new prescriptions and he got his flu shot.  I got mine last week along with the “other” pneumonia shot.  I noticed Pashpah, the Indian-American pharmacist, was wearing all sorts of gold jewelry.  It looked great on her.

18 thoughts on “Past, present and future…

  1. I’m with you about what we Oldies talk about – and anyway what use is life or blogging or anything if we can’t share how we are and how we feel in an honest way. I’m only just catching up with people having had a summer off and I see that you have been blogging less too. I suspect we all wonder what we are doing and why. Facebook and Twitter are so much more instant. Anyway, take care, keep sharing and enjoy what you are doing. http://www.freda.org.uk

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  2. I tell stories. I’m healthy so say little about any ailments. I have only a gold wedding band and watch as I am highly allergic to anything with nickel (wait, is that talking about my health?). I wear the watch and ring every day. If the other item was about grandchildren, then I am guilty. I talk about my grandchildren all of the time.

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  3. I hate those kind of articles that seem to want to make you ashamed of being old. My dad would never talk about his childhood memories and I think we all missed something because of that. As long as we don’t dwell completely in the past, I think it’s good to share memories. And if we want to talk about our ailments to each other we might learn something or at least feel not so alone. I wouldn’t bore my great grandchildren with them of course ;)…. And jewelry… Poo. I can’t be bothered.

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    • Your comment reminds me of John Wayne’s line in the film, True Grit, “I like her, she reminds me of me.” Yes, the “helpful” articles are beginning to annoy me, especially as most are written by younger people who have little idea of what aging is like!

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  4. Well I think at this point in my life I will say and do whatever I damn well please , short of getting arrested that is. Don’t like what I say ,don’t listen. Don’t like how I look, shut your eyes.There is always an “expert ” ready to tell you how to live your life . I say to them ” f… off !”

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  5. I never talk about my ailments because except for three different heart abnormalities, arthritis in four different places, and various stomach ills, I have the body of a 20 year-old.

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    • Yes Al you are truly amazing to have arthritis in only four places. Otherwise, I know your heart is in the right place. Besides look at it this way, if Alzheimer’s gets us, our aches and pains will be a distant memory!

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  6. Talking memories is fine, but sometimes depends who you are talking to. Health-related discussions also depend on time and place and, for those going through similar situations, creating a support system and providing comfort can be a real plus. Sometimes we just need to talk to someone.
    As for the jewelry, a few years ago I realized saving the best or favorite of any article of clothing – or jewelry – for a special occasion is plain dumb. Whatever I have I doubt any family member wants. So if I lose it, or break something, at least I enjoyed it for a while…

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  7. I think of my mother having dementia and dying at age 99, and my father dying of colon cancer at age 87. I wonder what will kill me. Meanwhile, I just take each day as it comes and try to extract as much joy and happiness from it as I can. Nothing you can do about getting old.

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