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Tag : aging

03 Sep 2015

No One Told Me

Three January’s ago I got a call from my sister in LA to tell me that our Mom had a heart attack. Mom was 85 at the time and has always been healthy, active and mentally acute. She has lived on her own since 1976 when my father passed away at the age of 51. She loved golfing, dancing every Friday night, watched her diet and exercised daily. She loved showing me her weights by the fireplace and would brag about how many lifts she would do each day.

I flew down the next day and went to the hospital. Sis told me that Mom was in the kitchen and had just finished eating her Big Mac dinner (one of her few guilty pleasures) and had the heart attack, fell down hitting her head on the handle of the oven and went unconscious, for how long we don’t know. She awoke and saw that there was blood on the kitchen floor and her favorite sweater was covered in blood. So what did she do? Instead of pressing the Life Alert device we got for her four years earlier, she got a bucket, filled it with cold water, put her sweater into it (so it wouldn’t stain) and cleaned the floor. After that she changed into her PJs and went to bed. Keep in mind that my mother is such a neat freak that when I would get up in the night to pee I’d come back to a made bed. (Just kidding, but you get the idea!

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The next morning she awoke and panicked because her pillow was covered in blood. So she called my sister and that’s when she went to the hospital. Of course Mom was upset with my sister for calling me because “It’s not serious, he doesn’t need to come all the way down here…

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01 Sep 2014

“One Number 2 Please”

To the horror of my own children and friends I enjoy the breakfasts at McDonalds. “A number 2 with orange juice please” can be heard whether I’m driving through or ordering from the counter. Mmmm, a sausage McMuffin with egg, hash browns and a juice. I was literally giddy with delight when my local branch announced breakfast would be served after midnight!

The other day I had an early appointment with a prospect, so I thought I’d stop before heading to my meeting to grab a “Number 2 please” since our meeting would prevent me from having lunch. As I stood in line an elderly man ahead of me was ordering. His tone and rudeness to the clerk was palpable. “Gimme this, hurry up, can’t you get it right the first time?! I want extra cream, make sure it’s hot. I don’t like your cups.”

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31 Aug 2014

The Inevitable vs. the Unthinkable

Over the past month I’ve found my mood to be a bit somber. Like most individuals I question my purpose in life from time to time. In addition on what appears to be a seven year cycle I have this nagging feeling that one day I will become homeless. The first bout of this fear occurred in 2007. Although I have always been able to make a good living for myself in 1988 I was confronted with a series of circumstance which brought me to the edge of homelessness.

I just had a new child, my wife decided to stay home and I quit my corporate job of 11 years to start my own business.  Just one year prior we had lost our first son who was stillborn. And in that instant I realized that money and material things meant nothing. I had exchanged what was truly important for the convenience money could buy. So I quit my job.

Each of these events were by my own choice, not from circumstance beyond my own control. But taking an almost 90% decrease in income with a new mouth to feed combined with expenses that still matched my six figure salary was not a well thought out choice. But here I was a result of my own choices and I needed to live with them. I vividly recall going to the grocery store and wondering which items I could afford to purchase; formula for my new daughter or food for our stomachs. To this day I am always grateful when I go to the market and can afford to purchase items that 26 years ago I would have considered luxuries, milk, cereal and bacon.

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