PSA-170217A-God’s Plan

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God’s Plan for Aging?

Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.

So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it’s God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.

Nine Important Facts To Remember As We Grow Older

#9 Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

#8 Life is sexually transmitted.

#7 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

#6 Men have 2 motivations: hunger and hanky panky, and they can’t tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.

#5 Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe years unless you give them your email address.

#4 Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

#3 All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

#2 In the 60’s, people took LSD to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.

#1 Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow

God’s Plan for Aging

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Most seniors never get enough exercise.

In His Wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things thus doing more walking.

And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need. In His Wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch.

And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have  additional calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.

So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it’s God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.

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Nine Important Facts to Remember as You Grow Older

#9 – Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

#8 – Life is sexually transmitted.

#7 – Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

#6 – Men have 2 motivations: hunger and hanky panky, and they can’t tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.

#5 – Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

#4 – Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

#3 – All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

#2 – In the 60’s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.

#1 – Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow.

Don’t ignore this message. This is your only warning.

A friend sent this to me — he must have mistakenly assumed I was aging!

Natural-chemical-to-Reverse-Aging.jpg

Everytime a Bell Rings

This afternoon, I came home from a beautiful walk around Frankfort and went to check my e-mails. My beautiful day exploded. I received news that the Leader I wrote about a few days ago has died.

I haven’t seen him since I retired eleven years ago, but I wrote to him yearly and filled him in on what I was doing. He answered me once, and I have kept the letter as a treasure. Jack E. Caveney built a company from scratch, and no, Obama didn’t help him do it. Jack’s company was his life. He owned it til his death, he remained active as an inventor, and maintained a strong hand in the operation.

His death has overwhelmed me with sadness, and I will miss him.

I’ve asked my deceased wife Barb to welcome him into the choir of angels and to show him around heaven. She no doubt met him at the gates with Saint Peter.

Truly, A Shovel Ready Job

President Barack Obama pauses after laying a w...

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Today, I experienced  what most people do not want, another funeral. In my last report, I posted a poem written by Anon Ymous which I read at a friend’s funeral a week ago. Today, I sat as a distant relative-friend, a lady of many years (96), went to her final resting place. I knew little about this fine lady until recently. We often invited her to our parties, and when we met at Peggy ‘s daughter’s house. I knew she raised five kids, four boys and one daughter. She outlived two of her sons. She drank a Vodga martini every day.  Until a few weeks ago, she drove to get around, her husband’s eyesight is too poor for driving. She loved her husband, her kids, her grandkids, and her great grandkids. What else should a mother be remembered for? She died from a complication of having her appendix removed at age twenty-two.

The funeral mass reminded me of my origins and how I will eventually return to the same dust God used to create me. Ever since my Barbara died, funerals have affected me in a pronounced way. The music especially brings home the message. I am overcome by a sadness for the family. In this case the husband of seventy plus years who now goes home to an empty house, his mate left so coldly in the ground.

The funeral ended at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Elwood, Illinois. The widower being a vet has the right to bury his widow in his gravesite. Her name engraved on the backside of the gravestone. The  front side awaits his arrival sometime in the future.

My sick sense of humor began to consume my thoughts as the Federal employee consoled the Christian family without any mention of God in her scripted message. I looked around at the thousands of  precisely placed gravestones marking those who sacrificed to preserve “one nation under God” and thought, this and all the other National cemeteries in America are the only places that truly have “shovel ready jobs.”

Peggy and I finished the day with a visit to her husband Ron’s grave.

Death is Like the Flying of a Great Plane

I rarely post other people’s work, but today I had the pleasure of doing a reading at my buddy’s funeral.

The piece is absolutely mind-boggling in that it is simple, yet loaded with meaning. I had to read it several times before I understood it fully. Time takes a toll on an aged mind.

Death is like the flying of a great plane.

by Anon Ymous

As the plane prepared to depart,

friends and loved ones call out

tearful goodbyes, waving

and throwing kisses.

And, at the exact moment

they are saying, “Look there he goes!”

another group of family and

loved ones takes up the glad shout.

“Look here he comes!”

As he lands into a new city –

the city of God – that is more beautiful

than can be imagined.

He knows immediately

that he is truly home.

The 2011 Monet Vision. Is This Heaven?

A Great Piece of Advice for Life

    One of my best friends and work associate sent me this piece is by  Pulitzer Prize winning editorial author Michael Gartner.  I want to meet him and thank him for this eloquently written story about his parents.

This is a piece by Michael Gartner, president of NBC News; in 1997, he won a Pulitzer Prize. It is well worth reading, even if it looks too long for you to read right now, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Please take a few minutes to absorb the meaning of this
 story, and then go hug someone…..Here goes…

      My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should  say I never saw him drive a car.
 He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

     “In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90’s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life  and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.” At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
      “Oh, bullshit!” she said. “He hit a horse.”
      “Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”
        So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars — the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none. My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the  streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three  blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

     My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys
 turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of uswould turn 16 first.
 But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts  department at a Chevy dealership downtown.
It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded  with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less  became my brother’s car.

      Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but  it didn’t make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her  to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my  two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s  idea.

     “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him  saying more than once.
     For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
      Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of
 marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)  He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the  back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a  2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
 If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”
     After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain:

      “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”
      If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the  bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”
      “I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre

     “No left turns,” he said.

     “What?” I asked.

      “No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”

      “What?” I said again.

      “No left turns,” he said. “Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights.”

      “You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.

     “No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It
works.” But then she added: “Except when your father loses count…” I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

      “Loses count?” I asked.

      “Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a  problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”

      I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.

     “No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it  a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put  off another day or another week.”

      My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her  car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102. They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought  a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

      He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he  was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body
 until the moment he died.

      One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging  conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news. A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.” At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going  to live much longer.”
      “You’re probably right,” I said.

      “Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated.

     “Because you’re 102 years old,” I said…

      “Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day. That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.  He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us  look gloomy, he said: “I would like to make an announcement: No one in this room is dead yet”

     An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: “I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”
     A short time later, he died. I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns. ”

 Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So — love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it and if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy; they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”

      ENJOY IT, BECAUSE LIFE HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!

Louie,

 Thanks for sending this story. It brought tears to my eyes.

LUV,

Grumpa Joe

Rest in Peace Aunt Marie

Marie at Ninety-fourBack in July, I wrote a post regarding my Aunt Marie. It was her ninety fourth birthday. We celebrated at her home in Franciscan Village in Lemont, Illinois. She was somewhat pensive that day, but she did the best she could to enjoy the moment. Last week she took a turn for the worse. In all the many times she was hospitalized, she bounced back readily. This time she was different. The problem that put her there was serious, and required some major body interventions. As her DPOA (Durable Power of Attorney), I made a the decision for her. I stopped all further treatments, and signed her up for hospice. It was time to let nature takes its normal course. 

It isn’t easy watching someone die. In fact it can be downright ugly. Yet, it can be beautiful at the same time. Witnessing a person’s pain, and discomfort is ugly. Knowing that the pain and discomfort is short lived, and that spiritual reward is near, is beautiful.  

She had many visitors last Friday, luckily, I was one of them. I sat next to her bed talking with Mary and John, a couple of friends who grew up with her. We watched her breathing while she slept. Then, I suddenly realized that she was not moving any more. She had passed quietly, painlessly, peacefully right in front of the three of us.

My Barbara never let me have that experience. She knew I was on the way to her side, and she let go before I got there. I missed her last breath by ten minutes. We had said goodbye to each other the day before while she was still conscious. Six years later it is still painful to remember.

After everyone left Marie’s room, and I was alone with her, I cried. I told her I would miss her, and I thanked her for letting me take care of her.  She was was my last connection to Barbara. Days before Barb died, she gave me an order to take care of Marie. I did my best, and now the job is nearly completed.

Yesterday, we gave Marie a great send off with a Mass of Christian Burial, and then entombed her next to husband Henry at the mausoleum In Resurrection Cemetery. By her direction, the luncheon afterward was at the Landmark. She insisted on an open bar with a family style Polish meal, and special order dumplings. 

Aunty Marie Golema

Born:         July 16, 1915

Died:         September 25, 2009

She is at heavenly peace.

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