Longevity…85 Is The New 65

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So I was speaking to one of our very nice elderly neighbors.


Last week he lost his dear wife of 60 years!


I had visited him during Shiva (the Jewish period of mourning) to wish him our best and let him know we are there if there is anything he needs. 


He told me how the night before she passed, they had gone out to eat and to the theatre (she loved the theatre)…and everything was fine!


And then the next day, he went to work–he still teaches medicine at the local hospital 2 days a month.


At midday, he called his wife and asked how she was and if she needed anything from the store (to eat etc.)


She told him she was fine and she didn’t need anything. 


But by the time he got home just one hour later…she had fallen, hit her head, and died. 


He tried to do CPR by it was no use, she was gone. 


Both he and his wife were 84-years old. 


He mentioned that would tease her that he was 3 months older than her, and so she had to listen to him!


I felt so bad for him…it was obvious how much he loved her and missed her already. 


When he told me how old she was, I tried to say reassuringly:

“That’s a good old age…at least she lived a full life!”


But then he answered:

“84–that’s nothing! 85 is the new 65!!!”  

And went on to tell me how many of their friends are already in the 90’s. 


It’s funny how no matter what age you are…there is always a will to live!


He said how she had passed quickly and so maybe he could consider that a blessing. 


And we talked about how it truly is especially when some other people really suffer prolonged periods with terrible debilitating and painful illnesses. 


It was also strange that around the same time, I ran into yet another elderly neighbor, and he had tears in his eyes…and I asked how he is. 


He told me how he just learned 3 weeks ago that his wife has lung cancer. 


Seeing his expression how bad things were, I inquired what stage it was at. 


He said, “stage 3 cancer,” and I told him as well how sorry I was for his pain. 


All this made me realize again, how very tenuous life is…and we all hang by a thread that G-d decides at any moment when to shear and when to cut–we need to live every moment to the fullest and as if it’s our last. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Aging Is A Process

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This guy was a hoot on the Metro in Washington, D.C. 


His shirt says:


“With age comes oldness.”


Ah, yeah!


When he was sitting, he had his arms crossed over his chest, and I thought it said:

“With age, comes baldness.”


That too!


Getting old is not easy.


Being young is not easy either. 


But it’s really how you handle yourself during every stage and turn in life that defines who you are and what you become as an person and a creation of G-d. 


You’ve got to get up and walk the dance through thick and thin…life bring old age and oldness…what’s the alternative. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

We Watch The Years Go By

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On a lighter note today, I took this photo of a couple watching their kids playing soccer.


They are sitting in Dick’s chairs. 


His (blue) and hers (pink).


Very cute!


The new generation grows up and supplants their elders–who still may feel “young at heart!”


As I get older, it definitely seems like time goes faster (and faster). 


It isn’t that some days aren’t long, but that overall the less time we have as we get into the latter portions of our life, the quicker it all seems to be passing.


So much so that it all becomes like one big dream (it should never be a nightmare, G-d forbid). 


If only we could rewind and redo the portions of our lives where we made mistakes, hurt others or ourselves, or could have just done better.


I’m not sitting in those chairs yet, but when I do, I hope it is with pleasure of heart, mind, and soul–with G-d’s mercy. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Aging Yet (Hopefully) Always Helping Each Other

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I just love this drawing of the parents and child. 


My daughter found it on Instagram and sent it to me. 


As a little kid, my wife and I used to hold her hands and swing her between us when walking (like in the above illustration)–she loved that!


Now as we get older, we still try to be good, helpful parents (not too intrusive or helicopter-like–well maybe a little), but we can certainly see a day down the line when the cycle of life goes full circle. 


My daughter used to joke (I think) about putting me in an old age home–she knew that after seeing what my mom went through there with Parkinson’s, that is truly the last place I would want to end up. 


Of course, sometimes there really is no choice when a person just needs so much care that it is beyond what the family can do any longer. 


Frankly, what I have learned is that the most important and precious thing that parents and children can give each other is…time!


So is that child in the bottom illustration helping his aging parents along or is he dragging them off to the nursing home?  Perhaps, we’ll never know until it’s too late. 😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal from Instagram Unlimited Knowledge)

To Little Jonah

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So swimming in the pool, I meet little 7-year old Jonah. 


He sort of made himself known to me when he decided he wanted to race me on the swim board.


I was going just a little faster–and I reminded him that I had a key competitive advantage, fins. 


He said, “Darn I should have brought mine!’


He asked how old I was, and I said a little older than you. 


Not satisfied, he pressed the question, saying “I can tell you are an adult.”


So I had to cave and admit that, and pointing to my heart, added that “I am young at heart.”


Jonah’s in 1st grade, and wanted to know what grade I was in. 


His guess was 4th grade, and I said “That’s about right.”


Jonah is from New Orleans visiting his grandmother for Passover. 


She was watching him in the pool and smiling with grandmotherly nachos, ear-to-ear.


I told Jonah to make sure to treat his grandmother nicely. 


But Jonah at this point had jumped into my swim lane and was in mock superhero fighting mode, and said “I want to punch you.”


I thought to myself, hmm it’s not only my wife that feels that way (LOL).


Anyway, it was clear that I had made a new friend with Jonah, who was off bobbing up and down in the water well over his head. 


Bye Jonah–have a good time visiting for Passover. 


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

G-dly Tattoo

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So my daughter took this photo of someone on the train.


They had a tattoo that said Elokim–G-d’s name in Hebrew–on their hand along their thumb.


Also, they had a second tattoo on the top of their hand that had the Star of David. 


Pretty dramatic, I think. 


But what a way to remember G-d and your religion all the time.


And I thought wearing a yarmulke on my head was something!


Anyway, just another thought for the day.


I was talking with a young person this week.


They said, how hard it was to be young and not know what was going to happen–what life had in store for them. 


I agreed that it was, but also added something that I had heard a number of years ago that:

When your young, you have health, but no money to enjoy it 

and when your old, you have money, but no health to enjoy it. 

The point is that at every point in life, we have our challenges, and we just have to make the most of what we got, when we have it. 

Ideally, of course, we have plenty of health and money–and the time to enjoy it with our family and friends.  

Happy Passover!

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Speed Of Time

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So a friend told me yesterday something interesting about the passing of time. 


We were looking back and saying how quickly it all goes…


I said, “Like the blink of an eye!”


He then told me this:


“Time is like the speed of a automobile. 


Your age is how fast the car is going. 


So for a child of 10-years old, the car is going 10 miles an hour…and it feels too slow. 


But for an adult of 60-years old, the car is going 60 miles per hour…too fast–in this case, 5 miles over the speed limit. 


The older you get the faster the whole thing goes by.”


I told him how much I liked this explanation. 


And finished by saying, that in the end, we should just have good memories of it all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)