Archive for the ‘life’ Category


Seldom do I ever complain. That’s because I’ve never had it so good and I never for a moment forget that. But this week has been a bummer–a real bummer.

My kindred-soul grandson, who’s serving in the Air Force, returned just a year ago from Iraq. He’s married and has two children. They have just closed escrow on their first home near his new base in New Mexico, and he’s being deployed.

He has already been to every continent on the globe since joining the Air Force fresh out of high school to follow in his father’s footsteps. He’s thirty.

Now, they’ve decided that he is needed in Afghanistan; this time apparently they need thousands more foot soldiers. I guess you’d have to be in my shoes to imagine how much I resent their making a foot soldier out of a patriotic, high-achiever like S.Sgt. Dustin Lawrence. Every parent must be sickened at the thought of their son or daughter being considered just another number among countless thousands being sent to this God-forsaken place. Just the sight of it on TV brings tears to my eyes. What are we doing there?

As much as I love Dustin and want good for his precious little family, I was unable to call to say good-bye. It was just too much to ask of me. Trying to think of one single thing to say that might help either of us in any way, knowing that my being opposed to this war could not be concealed, I could not call. Of course I am proud of him; of all of them. Still, it’s been the worst week I can remember.

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That’s why Nancy gave up nursing. After years of working at hospitals, she could no longer tolerate watching vain efforts to revive, rescussitate, or further diagnose teminally ill patients.

It was one thing if there was the slimest chance that the patient might live. Quite another when the poking, probing and gurney rides to take another test were making the patient miserable. 

Nancy could no longer bear to see frail, old people who were trying to die being dragged from their beds and taken for yet another X-ray or another MRI.

If people have the right to live, why shouldn’t they have the right to die? No amount of denial will change the fact that the human body is not going to live forever. It’s going to die. The person in that body may very well know when that time has come. 

Does anyone have the right to interfere with that process? Nancy didn’t think so. Neither do I.

My Do Not Recussitate order is in place. Right now I consider that  correct and even partiotic. Keeping people alive who are ready to die, gobbles up most of the insurance money paid out each year. I hope none of it prolongs my life when I’m ready to go.

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Four kids was the magic number. Everybody born in the 1920’s wanted to have four kids. That was because so many of our generation had been only children. They felt cheated that they didn’t have brothers and sisters.

That had never happened before–that only child thing. Women’s liberation really came about when women had a contraceptive for the first time, you know.  That’s why they called that whole era “the roaring twenties.” (The device was made of gold and was called a pessary. It’s now plastic and called an IUD. The pill came later.)

It would not surprise me to learn that “the universe” now questions whether it was maybe too soon to turn loose those unprepared young women.

The first thing they did with their emancipation was to almost turn their backs on feminity and begin to emulate men. They’ve taken that about as far as it could go. Now we’re seeing signs of a return to balance.  

Take, for example, “Dancing With the Stars” surprising success. I think it’s symbolic. It’s a beautiful thing to watch men and women dancing together again.

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When you’re 83, everybody on Earth is a kid – by comparison.  Furthermore, you can call anybody anything you like when you’re over eighty. No rule book has ever been written for people with that particular claim to fame. Nor am I proposing to write one.

I’m sitting here at my beloved Vaio, in the picture window of my glorious yard, with the fascinating challenge of introducing you, the younger reader, to what it’s like to be over eighty. Hang with me, and you’ll begin to look forward to it.

I have a particular kind of love for the whole baby-boomer generation – being wholely responsible for bringing four of them into existance. Well, OK, I was impregnated by their father. Yep, the same man for all four. That was acceptable, if not expected, “back then.”

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It was sort of shocking to hear the highly respected Dr. Deepak Chopra take the stand that he did after his friend Michael Jackson’s untimely death. He stated unequivocally that street drugs are not nearly as big a problem in America as prescription drugs are. He offered to name some of the worst offenders, medical doctors who attach themselves to movie stars and live the good life writing prescriptions.

 How could we have become a nation hooked on drugs? Well, it’s happened because you and I are buying the hype. We’re allowing ourselves to be constantly brainwashed into taking more and more medications. Unless we’ve never turned on a TV set, we’ve already been subjected to hundreds of hours of pharmaceutical advertising. They’re promoting sickness and sickness fixes twenty-four/seven.

 Roughly, one out of every three television minutes is advertising. It seems like at least one out of every three of those minutes we hear someone pushing a medication. Every drug ad is complete with the acknowledged dangers of taking it, but they want us to take it anyhow. One medication sets the body up for another medication. That’s exactly what they want to happen.

 Medications are mostly chemicals. The body can’t digest chemicals so it deposits them somewhere and viola; now you have arthritis. You’ll need another medication, and another and another.

 The physical damage though is not the worst part. The real horror is that we’re developing an intimate relationship with our diagnoses and with our prescribed treatments. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear what sounds a lot like pride or even affection in an announcement like, “Oh, I have osteoporosis, you know.” Like it makes them special. How sick is that? Others refer to their over-the-counter or prescribed medications by a pet name—gotta take “my meds,” they’ll say.

Giving up drugs is something that nobody else can do for us. It’s a personal thing that’s numbing our senses, playing havoc with our bodies and robbing us blind. The only cure for getting off drugs is finding something that works better like ….  Why not try getting healthy instead?

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