After The Fall

What would you have done? Walking through the library parking lot while returning to my car, I noticed four or five young children and a lady hovering over an elderly gentleman lying on the ground next to his car. It appeared as if they were trying to help him stand up but were having no luck. I quickly walked over and before anything else I talked to him. I asked him if he was okay- if anything hurt- while looking for signs of injury or discomfort. It appeared that he was more embarrassed than anything else. Continue reading “After The Fall”

Swimming In Lies

Everyone hates being lied to, right? As a kid all those years watching entertaining biographical films – I took it for granted that what I saw actually happened that way. George M. Cohan, played by James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, yankee doodle dandywas a swell dancer who gracefully slid into retirement. The Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music adroitly outmaneuvered the Nazis and climbed the Alps mountain to safety. General George Custer, plated by the gallant Errol Flynn in They Died With Their Boots On, was tricked by Sitting Bull and his cutthroats and died a heroic death. The list goes on and on.
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Double Whammy

A little after 12 noon this past Thursday, while working with the chief financial officer and in-house computer network specialist at a client site, I got a phone call from my sister. She started off with, “I got bad news and worse news.”

Earlier that morning I got into the car to drive out to a Western suburb of Chicago that was at least a twenty mile destination requiring two tollway fares. All the way there I fretted about temporarily running out of stories to add to this blog. To my dismay, that didn’t last long.

“I’m listening.” I said in a hushed tone. She said,“ma fell down in the house and broke her hip. She is in the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.” That was the bad news. Now came the worse news. “Mrs. So-and-So (my sister’s mother-in-law) had suffered a massive stroke resulting in heavy hemorrhaging and was at death’s door. She was lying in wait, so to say, in ICU, also at St. Francis Hospital.”

My sister’s mother-in-law had come home from playing cards after 10pm Wednesday night. She lives in the condo down the block from mine, the one fancy enough to be able to afford a doorman. The uniformed fellow let her in and she proceeded in the hallway to the elevator but never made it to her apartment. She was found lying on the floor in an unconscious state.

On late Thursday afternoon I finished visiting with Ma on the fifth floor of the hospital listening to her mentally prepare to have surgery on the right hip where a surgeon would place a rod and bolts underneath the skin. This gave her a sort of symmetrical artificial reconstruction of her torso. Five years earlier, she broke both her left hip and shoulder.
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Rock of Age

How many times have you walked past someone and nodded at them while at the time thinking, “boy, have they aged!” Of course, you tend to forget that they were thinking the same thing, right?

A few year ago I visited my sister and her neighbor from down the block was over at the time. The neighbor knew me from high school and her husband was in my graduating class. My sister said to me later that her neighbor thought that I looked the same as I had thirty plus years earlier. C’mon, give me a break! If anything, both she and her husband looked like they had never aged- but, me? Really? Uh- You think so? Wait- I’ll turn to the side so you can get a better profile.

The south wall in the living room of my condo apartment is entirely a mirror. That was what sold me on buying the unit. I like it especially because it tends to distort my size and shape when I stand a certain distance away. It takes about two to four inches off the waistline and adds at least an inch to my height.

When friends and relatives in my age group all turned fifty, we spoke the popular phrase, “fifty is the new forty!” Hmmm- what are we going to say when we hit 60? That it’s the new 50? That already sounds over the hill. Many of Ma’s previous generation relatives lived well into their late 80’s and 90’s. If I punch that into a computer-based formula, I think it means that there is a chance that my siblings and I can go on annoying each other well into our 100’s. I then guess we can safely surmise that 60 is truly the middle of the hump. And that means I should not plan on retirement until at least 75 or maybe 80.

Not that I ever take public transportation, but I’m still waiting for the day that a youngster- say someone between 35 to 45, gives up their seat to me or calls me ,”sir”. Yeah, sure.

It used to be that AARP considered one eligible to join once they hit 55. But, who wants to acknowledge that they are getting up there? I admit, though, that I steal a read of Modern Maturity when I go to visit Ma. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Robert Redford gracing the cover. It would be a hoot if they could convince Burt Reynolds to pose for a centerfold wearing only a Depends.

You are as old as you feel- and I will leave that line alone.