Invisible

Apr 26, 2011 by

“Old age takes everyone by surprise, and no one really ever comes to terms with it.” That’s what Jill Lepore writes in THE NEW YORKER’s March 14th article on aging “Twilight.” Lepore is referring to the thinking of G. Stanley Hall.  Ahead of his time, Hall was looking at aging from all kinds of angles in the early 20th century.  Back then, aging was still a novelty. Most people didn’t live long enough to experience it. Today, as the first wave of the 76 million Baby Boomers hits 65 years old, aging has become embedded in society.  Of course, as Hall observed, it does take us by surprise.  Since most of my dysfunctional family dies young, I never anticipated being around much after 50.  Yet, here I am.  And unlike what Hall says, many...

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Living a Dangerous Life

Apr 20, 2011 by

Everyone knows it’s dangerous to, say, ride a motorcycle or eat saturated fat, but somehow we miss the inherent danger of being alive. My husband died of acute leukemia.  In June of 2008, we were living ordinary lives.  In July, I took Dave to the doctor for what we thought was diverticulitis, common to 45 year old men and easy to cure.  In August, he was trapped in the hospital on chemotherapy and by the end of September, he was gone.  The whole hospital episode, from diagnosis to death, took six weeks. Is it any wonder it seems to me that we barely control anything in our lives?  Trouble will find you, even if you’re perfectly still.  What kind of world is this?  The raw truth is that it’s a world where the person...

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Home Alone With Ice Cream

Apr 7, 2011 by

It’s Friday night and I am home alone, angry at the sink.  This is ridiculous, of course, but I feel as if I have been doing dishes all the livelong day and couldn’t the sink please split itself into equal halves so that I can wash this very large pan in the section with the disposal.  It stubbornly refuses and I mumble curses at it. I’m not really angry at the sink.  I’m feeling sorry for myself.  All I need now is a pint of ice cream to eat directly from the container. I text a girlfriend who has invited me out, “I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself, it’s the dating thing again”.  “OMG, me too!!”, she texts back.  I like that about this friend.  She is like me.  We are surrounded by...

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What Do Cats Dream Of?

Mar 15, 2011 by

This elderly little cat has lived with me since I was 25, before I was married.  To everyone’s surprise, she has outlived my husband and now she is a thin, gray creature with a touch of kitty dementia.  This is the cat who comforted him on the night before his death in the hospital, the one who played “home” with us in that tiny ICU cubicle.  This is the cat who was present when he died. Dave loved her and her image graces our shared headstone. That same image is tattooed on my left foot, a memorial to him, to her and to the life we shared.  I count my blessings that she is still with me, though I know she is in the winter of her life.  She snuggles under my arm now,...

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Two Widows .. Now Equals

Mar 14, 2011 by

I sat by the stack of RSVP’s for the wedding in June that would not take place. I stared at them a good long while before I picked them up and brought them over to the couch and began to alphabetize them. Normally I am not this anal retentive but, I thought it’d be easier to find their phone numbers and email addresses in my address book. Slowly but surely I was done. Each card had a corresponding number or email address so I could begin contacting the folks who were kind enough to have responded early to the Save The Date and wedding invitations in the morning. Surprisingly a good number of them were from friends that lived out of town. I crashed on the couch embraced by the scent of him. I...

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Trading Nightmares For Dreams

Mar 4, 2011 by

I’m sitting on the couch on Friday morning.  A train whistles, telling tales of its journeys to places I’ve never been.  Mornings like this, Colorado reminds me of W. Virginia. Snow-clouds hang heavy over the city, obscuring the ever-present mountains. I must simply have faith that they are still there, still standing over us, watching and waiting forever.  I cannot see them now, but then that’s the nature of faith, isn’t it? I love this place.  I love that I can see the constellation of city lights from my kitchen windows.  I love how the steam from the nearby power plant clings together and stays close to home when the temperature dips below zero.  Sometimes that steam even turns to snow and falls right back down on us, as if to say, “Good or bad,...

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Ohhh … So THAT’S Why (I’m Not Married)...

Mar 2, 2011 by

If you are like me, you have some friends who you intangibly just sense will not get married, at least any decade soon. You can sit around a table at lunch and know that wherever they are in the dating cycle, be it flirting, passion or boredom, it’s almost mute to talk about because they will be back around again. And again. I’m also in this “mortally single” class of woman myself. From observation I have deduced that this plight is not founded on looks or physical type. It is not geographical location. It is not even a specific career or education, though most mortally single women I know are smarter than the average bear. I have never been able to really put it into words very well, but read two blog articles today...

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Waking Up On The Black Couch

Feb 27, 2011 by

Returning home, the day’s events washed over me like a proper London rain. I was completely soaked in the wet energy of others, their grief and that of my own and could barely walk up the steps to our front door. Throughout the last hours I kept thinking to myself, ‘I have to get through this day, they have to know that they can count on me, be the rock, be the foundation, get this done.’ Upon entering our home, there was a deafening silence. It was so very quiet, void of all of the laughter and filled with the remnants of my rapid departure to the hospital the morning he had slipped from a coma into the beyond. In my haste to find a black outfit, that wasn’t a little black dress, but...

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Keep Him…Then You Won’t Be Alone...

Feb 25, 2011 by

Max came into my life quite unexpectedly and my life changed. I didn’t know it at the time. How often do we not realize the little moments that ultimately impact our lives? I was enjoying a lazy Saturday when my friend Alf called to tell me that a rescued White West Highland Terrier had just been dropped off  ready to be adoped.  If I wanted the pooch I had to come over to his house right away. I really wasn’t looking for a dog.  I was traveling. I didn’t have a lot of time. But well .. I was curious and it’s difficult to say “no” to Alf so I drove to the other side of Atlanta  “just to check him out.” I wish I could tell you that I instantly fell in love...

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Home Alone On A Saturday Night

Feb 18, 2011 by

I’ve been officially single since 1974. Separate from several ‘long-term’ relationships never lasting longer than 5 years, and only one that included a live-in partner for less than a year, I have managed my life as a single woman with serious attention to the elements that make it work. ‘Variety in Balance’ is a mantra of sorts for me. My astrologer friend gives her equivalent of a “Duh” nod, knowing that my Libra Sun Sign, my Enneagram point as a 7 and my Myers-Briggs personality type as ENFP, indicate a high need for interaction and stimulus. Thus the importance of the unspoken rule: “Always have plans for Saturday night.” Plans mean other people and leaving the house, although I also invite people to my house for dinner and an evening of good talk and maybe a...

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Power Couples: That wasn’t possible for single women...

Feb 17, 2011 by

At one time, to constitute a Power Couple, like the Clintons or Obamas, you had to be married.  That left a single woman like myself out.  The Establishment simply wouldn’t have tolerated power shared between a man and a woman who were unmarried.  Of course, that’s changed.  Look at the current Governor of New York and His First Lady. The positive development from being unable to become part of a Power Couple has been, for many of us, a focus on continually improving our Emotional Intelligence [EI].  Long before psychologist Daniel Goleman brought that concept mainstream in 1995, we recognized the importance of understanding how others processed their world.  Those others included just about anyone who could hire us, send business our way, mentor us, and open doors to the next level in our...

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Kiss Me Like A Stranger

Feb 14, 2011 by

George – Chapter 1: That this will be read by complete strangers, people who I have not yet met or never, makes this missive seem almost therapeutic. I had come to Atlanta in 1992 to work as interpreter for an international law firm with a large Japanese client.  The assignment soon went from 3 weeks to almost 4 months. Over time I grew weary of law firm take-out food. While I was not vociferous, a young law student and runner for the firm took pity on the quiet French-Italian girl and directed me to the nearest French Bistro. It was a quaint place, small table, pseudo-bohemian students with a portrait of Miles Davis that nearly eclipsed a wall separating the bar from the main dining room. I sat facing it the right side of...

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