This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website:

Now, on to my blog:

Wolf pillowsWe all have our memories, and we spend significant amounts of our awake and our asleep time pondering them. One of the most compelling things we remember are the significant people who have impacted our lives.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the death of one of my dearest friends. She was such a major part of my life for decades, and so many things in my home remind me of her.

There is the fleece shirt I put on each winter morning to break the chill when I get out of bed that Sue bought me for my birthday years ago after seeing me finger it on the store rack while we were shopping.

There are the 1600 threads-per-inch sheets I sleep on nightly which I, along with many of her friends and relatives, ordered through her secret source with the amazing discount.

There are those small decorative, bolster pillows that sit atop the regular pillows on my bed. We each got one that day Sue took me to visit the Wolf Rescue Compound, a two-hour ride from the city where we lived, because I’d chosen it as my birthday gift excursion. We had been giving each other events for birthday presents in those final years, a way to spend more meaningful time together as the annual exchange of yet another sweater, scarf, or pair of earrings had become old and tiresome. The compound owner had made the little pillows which she presented to each person who braved the trek to her isolated location and contributed a donation upon entering.  Sue gave me hers so I’d have a matching pair for my bed.

There is the…

Last week, I saw Sue’s children for the first time since her death. Her daughter held me and cried giant tears, the sight of me bringing back memories of her mother yet again. I cried my own internal tears, as external ones don’t happen for me. We all have our own way of grieving and responding to pain; mine is the dry, lump-in-your-throat type. Neither are right or wrong; they just are.

When someone has been significant in your life, that never ends, it merely changes. Everyone has had a Sue in their life, and they live on in the memories of their friends and family members.


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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, second acts, seniors, successful aging, wellness

5 responses to “Remembering

  1. patricia

    So true. I have a number of items that mean so much to me and nothing to anyone else. It’s like keeping a little bit of them here with us.

  2. so sorry. we must enjoy our loved ones when we can …

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