This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
CHITCHAT: Check out my interview on November 20, 2018 (top few paragraphs) in an article in Moneyish.com, a Dow Jones Media Group Publication: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-nearly-3-in-4-women-say-70-is-the-new-50—-but-far-fewer-men-do-2018-11-20 (Correction: I was a probation officer in Los Angeles, not San Francisco.)
Now, on to my blog:
I opened an email from my longtime, high school girlfriend, Sheila. Part of it read, “this was surprising in today’s newspaper.” There was an attachment, so I clicked on it to find an obituary with a photograph of a woman I didn’t recognize.
As I read further, I realized she had been a classmate of ours, and we had all graduated high school together. This is the patch from my class sweater of the emblem from our senior class: the Tandakoans, which I’ve saved for fifty-nine years.
Why do we keep such trivial objects? Probably because they are symbols of passage. Passages are events that mark major turning points in our lives. Among all the minutiae of our existence that are quickly forgotten, these are the happenings that we remember year after year. We might celebrate or bemoan them in a ceremonial manner on special anniversaries.
I remember when I turned fifty, Sheila organized a Brownie Troop reunion. Those attending showed up with photographs of our troop members, Brownie and Girl Scout badges, and other nostalgic items they had kept for decades. Our lives are filled with passages. An obituary marks the final one.
I hadn’t seen Judy since graduation, but I remembered her as a bouncy girl with a quick smile and a ponytail. The obituary said she had died following a long battle with ovarian cancer. One by one, our ranks are thinning. Reading about Judy, I couldn’t stave off thoughts of: when will it be my turn?
Does that frighten me; does that concern me? Yes and no. I’m frightened of the unknown, but not of the finality of it, maybe because I don’t even understand what that means.
Can I choose how to make my final passage? I certainly don’t want the path that Judy took or anything like it. Living my life to the fullest and going suddenly in my sleep is my preferred choice. But, all I can do is hope for that and do the living-my-life-to-the-fullest part in the meantime.
Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: email@example.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.