By Jack Morrissey
I mentioned to someone just the other day that I've finally reached an age that on occasion can be depressing.
Besides the burden of living alone, and not having anyone around to share things with, a lot of people who I have admired for their talent in the arts seem to be passing away. The movie stars that we grew up with, and held in awe for the roles they played on the screen, along with the singers and dancers who gave us so many hours of pleasure are slowly joining the ranks of the missing.
I miss them!
We get far fewer phone calls these days. Dogs and cats love us, cause they know we give good "petting" and aren't stingy with the groceries. The senior ladies that see us shopping in the grocery store, with the cart loaded with Oreos, Twinkies, Ice Cream, and so on (just kidding, Dr. Atkins) tend to bump into our cart to see what kind of reaction they can gather. Only a widower would have a cart full of all that good stuff!
Life, as we age, changes.
One of my sage sayings at this age is: "One of the benefits of aging is the amount of compassion I have developed for my fellow human being where age thirty it boiled down to, "Punch him out and let's get the hell out of here!" But now it's" what can I do to help "
Occasionally memories flood in from somewhere, triggered by a remark, some familiar scent, or a someone that looks like someone else you knew a long time ago.
You fill up the time with activities. I never did as many crossword puzzles before, and now if I can't finish the two in the morning paper I get frustrated. You notice that those "Senior Moments" come around every now and then, and tend to get you wondering what it was you were just thinking about.
Occasionally thoughts about your old home and all its haunts make you wonder if you should go back more often. But a lot of the contacts you had at home, both family and friends, have passed on. The children are there, but there not children anymore. Seasoned adults with families, and all of the problems that life can give them in this confused age we live in.
The amount of hypocrisy in this country today, tends to make cynics of us all. We seem to have lost the integrity that once was so precious. We are lied to constantly, double-talked to daily, and asked to believe the government is doing its very best to make our lives more bearable.
Thirty, forty, or fifty years ago we thought that life was going to go on forever. Aging never entered the equation. Old people ended their working years and then headed for the nursing home. Going back to work was no substitute for the rocking chair. These were supposed to be the leisure years.
Gasoline costs ate up our leisure funding.
There are some great people who make some of the wheels go around. I've met a few, but there are some others I haven't met yet, but would like to. Each of us can contribute just a little more to make someone else's day a little brighter. Fill the lonely hours with whatever you can find, if it enriches your life and makes you a happy and better person.
Jack Morrissey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
His Internet site is at http://www.unclejacksplace.com
When asked to write a short bio, here's what Jack said:
How does one write a short "Bio" (biography)? When you've passed 80 it stands to reason you've seen and experienced a lot more than you probably should have. Unfortunately I was a "Depression" child, along with a twin sister, and a brother two years younger. We were part of that great unwashed public that didn't know things were that "bad" , as we thought "bad" was normal. Got out of High School in June of 1941 and from way up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan... Iron Mountain... Ritchie and I hitchhiked all the way down to Green Bay, Wisconsin to join the United States Marine Corps. Why? we thought the uniform was the greatest. Unfortunately the Marine recruiter was out to lunch, and that left only the US Navy recruiter with two young, uneducated, naive, eager, willing live bodies ready to join anything, and go somewhere. We did both counts. Then six months later along came World War Two. Almost five years in Naval Aviation (on the enlisted side) with an all expense tour of what are now far off and exotic places. Thirty-nine months of active combat..... flying around some of the more remote spots the Lord made in the South Pacific. God must have loved the water, 'cause he sure made a lot of it.
I had some success in the newspaper field, but the pay was like working in a bank in those lean years. You could have all the titles you wanted, but raises were far and few between. I discovered that sales could provide a much better income, and became what is known as a Manufacturers Representative. That meant I could sell for a specific manufacturer, in a specific territory, on a specific commission. We represented about five manufacturers from the New York area, and sold throughout most of the Midwestern states, which meant much traveling. But it also meant one got to meet many, many new people.... and some of them made major impacts on my life. The beauty of meeting people for the first time, is the mystery of what you can gain from them. Sometimes the gain is so great, you deeply wish you could have met them twenty years ago.