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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Life Goes On

You can say 'Life goes on' after mentioning something very sad to indicate that, although people are very upset or affected by it, they have to carry on living normally. ~ Collins Dictionary

The realization that someday we will leave this life and life will go on.  As important of a role that we play within our intricate lives, hopefully all our loved ones will find a way to continue to move forward.

This year has been the worst in my life for loss of loved ones.  Losing just one loved one in any one year is bad enough, but the year is barely at the half way mark and I’ve already had 3 losses that I am aware of.

I was told and do subscribe to the idea that, the older we get the more friends and relatives we will lose because everyone is getting older.  This year losses, however, have nothing to do with aging.  I am grateful that those that are directly under my oversight (wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are safe and healthy).

I don’t like to write about my most personal gains and losses in life, but I feel that this post will help to move on from this very life shattering event.

My family is made up of seven brothers and sisters, life normally dictates that the oldest in the pecking order should go first (expire – die).  Just before the end of June our family lost our youngest member.  My little brother was only 45 and if I had to pick the one member that was most popular and loved, of all seven he would be the one.  He would literally take the shirt off his back to give to someone in need.

The last time that he and I hung out was the year before.  We normally didn’t move in the same social circles because of our age difference.  I do know, and he told me every time he had a chance, that he loved me extra because of all the male children I looked the most like our father.

I am being selfish and writing this post strictly for my own ability to move on.  I just returned from a five day stay in southern California where we attended services and celebrated his too short life.  Because my little brother was such a life of the party in life, His Celebration of Life was very upbeat.  Over 250 people attended his loving goodbye. 

Since we believe that we will see each other again we all have reason to move forward.  So, in fact “Life Goes On,” and because of that, the best is yet to come…….

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned
10 Shocking Statistics About Elderly Falls
·        When an elderly person falls, their hospital stays are almost twice longer than those of     elderly patients who are admitted for any other reason.
·        The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than men.
·        Annually, falls are reported by one-third of all people over the age of 65.
·        Two-thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months.
·        Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older.
·        Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls each year.
·        More than half of all fatal falls involve people 75 or over.
·        Among people aged 65 to 69, one out of every 200 falls results in a hip fracture. That number increases to one out of every 10 for those aged 85 and older.
·        One-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip from a fall will die within six months of the injury.
·        The most profound effect of falling is the loss of functioning associated with independent living.  ~ by Shell Point Retirement Community

CAUTION!  Don’t try this at home.  At some point, we all reach and cross the line where we are old enough to know better.  That line can be reached through personal experience, common sense, or by someone else’s example.  However, you do reach it, we all must reach it.  I love learning from other’s mistakes because it saves me a lot of pain and suffering.  Not to mention that it makes me look mature and smart.

As I get older, I’ve noticed that every so often I catch myself pushing the envelope.  I am not sure that I am trying to prove that “I still got it,” or perhaps trying to save time.  Since I am retired, I can’t blame my corner cutting on time constraint. 

Just a short list:  I have survived the following unhurt, almost got electrocuted running electrical wire for an addition to our home; survived a rear collision on a vehicle wreck where my car was standing still and the other driver was traveling at approximately 50 mph (should have killed me but it only resulted in a broken back) (I know, I make it sound like a piece of cake).  I almost drowned while swimming with friends in a river at age 11 (I actually went under for the count); I was painting the trim on the exterior of my house while standing on the very top rung of an 8-foot ladder (a wind gust came up and I almost lost my balance), I quickly came to my senses and I called a professional to finish the job.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Well, my wife and I have spent perhaps thousands of dollars over the years in an effort to stay healthy through exercise (gym memberships).  My most recent effort is to transform our large garage into a gym.  We purchased 5 professional workout pieces of equipment, and a hot sauna to complete the ideal workout place.  And now the rest of the story:  No work out place is complete without a descent size screen television to take your mind away from the pain and suffering of a healthy workout.  I was trying to place the tv on top of the sauna but it was about a half inch too big to fit. From on top of the ladder about 4 feet high, I was holding the tv and tried to place it on top a shelf about 30 inches away.  Bottom line is I lost my balance and went backwards from the ladder while still holding the television.  I protected the investment on the tv set keeping it at arm’s length as I went down backwards.  Fortunately, on the way down my elbow knocked over a stack of walk-in carpets that miraculously landed under me and cushioned my fall.

All’s well that ends well, but once again, someone was looking out after me, and I came out unhurt.  I surveyed the area where I landed it, and still don’t know how those carpets ended up under me.  I came within inches of hitting my head on at least three very sharp corners, any of which could have killed me.

I beg you to be very careful in your own personal lives.  If you believe that you can’t afford to have a professional handle your project, ask yourself if you can afford time in the hospital and the medical bills or worst.  I hereby promise to draw on my experience, and the mistakes of others to keep myself safe for my family and friends.  The best is yet to come……..

Friday, July 21, 2017

An Eye for Beauty

Miss Gracie
David Hume's Essays, Moral and Political, 1742, include:
·        "Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.
·        "The person who is widely credited with coining the saying in its current form is Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), who wrote many books, often under the pseudonym of 'The Duchess'. In Molly Bawn, 1878, there's the line "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", which is the earliest citation that I can find in print.
I could say guilty as charged.  There are many things in my life for which I fell in love at first sight as example my beautiful wife, each one of my children when they were born, followed by my grandchildren.  I’m sure you are beginning to get the picture. 

Until recently, I have not had to pay the price for my indulgence.  To be sure the saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” applies to objects as well as individuals, and almost anything of beauty, such as, a clear sky, or a moonlit night.

Three years ago (June 2014) I was having what I consider and average day, and as such I drove my favorite four-legged partner to the groomer.  The day was progressing in such a way that it was not likely to stand out as a special day in a week down the road, let alone for the rest of my life.

When it came time to pick up Theo (toy poodle) from the groomer, I walked in and the first thing I saw was this beautiful little snowball of a puppy.  I remembered asking the groomer, who is this beautiful creation you are working on.  She mentioned that the puppy was a Bichon (breed) being groomed to make her more adoptable by the Animal Shelter.

Without even calling my wife for approval, I said, tell me who the point of contact is for the adoption.  After all the paperwork was properly processed “Gracie” arrived at her new home.  Gracie’s name is derived from my youngest granddaughter’s middle name (Grace) the intended recipient.

The rest of the story is where regrettably, I pay the consequence for falling in love with Gracie the first time I saw her.  Within a year and half, she lost the sight on her right eye (something internally caused it). Even beyond that devastating occurrence she acted normal and continued to be playful and loving.  We spared no expense and took her to the Veterinary and was referred to a dog Ophthalmologist.  I personally declared myself Gracie’s Service Person.

A year later Gracie’s vision on her good eye began to fade and within two months totally failed.  After many more tests including brain scan it was determined that she had one or more brain tumors that would not end well.  My little Gracie eventually passed away (May 23, 2017), from her many illnesses that included diabetes. 

Occasionally, I still shed a tear for the little girl that so affected my life in just a too short span of 3 years.  We all know that life isn’t fair but what did that little beautiful loving dog ever do to deserve her painful short life.  I’ve said it before, “if doggies don’t go to heaven, I want to go where they go.”  It has taken me almost two full months before I could get myself to write about Miss Gracie.  I am only writing about Gracie to place her solidly in my recorded writings.  I can only hope, the best is yet to come…….