How My Mother Paid Her Dues


Sitting in the chair by the window

Sitting in a chair with big wheels

Thinking of her recent past

moving fast, but now so slow

not knowing how much memory aging steals

It was just a little while ago

she fed her cat and dressed herself

The loss of pride, she had no choice

she had to let it go

She swallows hard and fights the tears

and says this isn’t hell

She feels grateful for the life she had

no one will ever know

the pain inside, the fight for life

can she find a place to be?

 She doesn’t know how to live

within these closing walls

Look to the right, look to the left 

They think she doesn’t see

They stick their arms out just in case

her body sags and falls

Make sure she’s safe, feed her meals

call her once a day

Do what they can with their busy lives

there  isn’t time for more

Everyone keeps living, they’ll be there soon

she knows they’ll say

Not understanding years are short

The door will close for good one day

When life demands you pay your dues

your choices paid the toll

The effects from how you lived your life

stare you in the face

She laughs, how useless are your fears

if you trust what you have learned

the mystic law, the parchment scroll

she vows to find in these last years

new memories sewn on happy lace

aging gracefully, appreciation for living

Dedicated to my mother – Wilma Fritz b. 1933

I am who I am because of you. Thank you.

Early Morgan Freeman

young morgan freeman
source credit:

Would you have been able to guess who this was? Last summer I went to see my highschool boyfriend of 42 years ago. We went steady for 2 years and even lost our virginity to each other, but still as he stood at the door trying to figure out who I was he was clueless. Well, to be fair he wasn’t the same 16 year old bass player in a local band anymore standing outside my door in a leather jacket and played highschool football, and his head of shocking white hair might have put me off for a few minutes. But I had to give him lots of hints and the closest he could get is that he thought I was my sister! So I guess I changed more than the person inside me thought I had changed. But Morgan Freeman? Never in a million years would I have put two and two together for this one!

#9 The Seasons of Life

I posted a new blog entry a few minutes ago and I looked to see who else had blogged about aging gracefully, also comparing youth to age using episodes in my life which is now 60. I wrote it this morning because of how I felt when I up this morning. I’m going to reblog this so that these two posts are side by side. The only real difference, and that is an accepted personal choice, is that I am Buddhist and look at the process of my life based on that point of view. Each of us needs to find what makes sense in our lives, especially as we get older and come to terms that our life will not be forever and baring major illness or accidents we are on the latter side of our life rather than the beginning. Great post. Well written and very insightful if you haven’t yet reached all the stages of life she writes about.  Where are you in this mix.

I’m not sure how much my mother will appreciate my posting this picture again.  This is a woman who has lived a lot of life and still has dreams.  Full of life, and I love her so much. It is on the very first post of the blog, taken after we cooked dinner for our family for Christmas and they had all just left and sat down in the chair exhausted but happy about the way Christmas day turned out.  It was unfortunately, the last happy time that included my family, and I don’t see another happening any time soon.

aging gracefully, appreciation for living

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Pathways to Peace

What can you do when things from the past are haunting you, things of the present are creating stress, and thoughts of the future frighten you?  Review your life in ten-year segments.  Then see how quickly everything comes to pass and doesn’t stay!

In the first ten years of life, we become acquainted with being in a physical body.cherry trees Parents get very excited when a baby finally learns to roll over.  Then that baby crawls, walks, and soon speaks.  Learning how to ride a bike, to swim, and to sit attentively in a classroom, all help us to establish self-discipline and responsibility to life.

The second ten years are the pre-adult years, during which socialization is essential.  Responsibility to all life can be enhanced by loving and caring for a pet.   Planting a garden presents growth in a different form of life energy than human.  Looking up at clouds can give an appreciation of how…

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Youth Has No Appreciation for the Lack of Pain

growing olderGee, did I?  Appreciate that I could wake up, jump out bed, throw on my clothes, leap down the stairs and run out the door? Run across a field, dance for hours and function with little rest?  I didn’t, because when you are young, you think you have a long time to be young,  and being 40 years old seems like light years away.

The years from 40-60 went by in a blink.  I did a lot.  The years were full of many ups and downs.  It sure wasn’t boring. But pass they did, until I had to admit I was years into the process of being “middle aged”.  ( That’s all I’ll admit to, because they say 60 is the new 40.  Ha!  Written by a true 60 year old. )

life's riches, aging gracefully

Now, I wake up in the morning and contemplate how bad I really need to pee because the process of actually sitting up, swinging my legs over the side of the bed, stand up and shuffle into the bathroom, trying to not fully open my eyes,  and admit that every single part of my body hurts . . . takes deep thought.  I don’t want to wake up to my day, not just yet.

Once it gets going I’m on a roll, and since I’m deeply addicted to writing my book, “Inside the Forbidden Outside” ( title change from “InsideOut”, two chapters linked to in this blog) I will sit here for the better part of at least 12 hours, getting up to make dinner and watch a movie with my old hippie, and occasionally make a stab at some kind of housework, teach a piano student or try to make some money selling Avon. (What shameless plugging for myself.! You can order online. Yay.)  Oops, I can’t forget about Ambit Energy, my other moneymaker.  A girl (older woman) has to eat!  After dinner I’m back at the computer until the wee hours of the morning.

So, getting back to my post about my mornings, I get a cup of coffee and creep back under the covers, with some kind of painkiller laying on my tongue, grab my Nook off the bedside table and boot it up. It takes a lot of effort to do any kind of serious work in a timely manner on my Nook because I keep trying to make it behave like  my laptop, and it sometimes pisses me off and dumps whatever I’m writing, like it did this morning.  That is what got out of bed today.

I lay like that for at least an hour, which is why I try my damnedest never to plan on doing anything critical in the morning, and wait for the pain to slowly subside.

Youth – oh how easy things are for you physically when you are young.  Leap tall buildings in a single bound and not break anything on the way down.  The other day I had a minor fall in my mother’s garden, stepping in mulch and my foot sank and my knee bent into a plant and down I went, my body twisting in weird ways, and I couldn’t get up.   I go, SP and MV, (which is the acronym for shit,piss and monkey vomit, taught to me many years ago by my mother, that sweet woman who cringes when I cuss in her presense) And . . . I, in my embarrassment was in full view of the street.  The mulch was soft and I couldn’t get a firm hold on the ground with the foot that wasn’t attached to the knee in the plant (poor plant) and lift my body weight up with the other leg.  Finally, with much grunting, I was able to grab hold of a post and pull myself up.  Two days later and my body is still sore from moving muscles that had been frozen  together during hibernation this winter.  There is more leaping tall building with one bound in my life!

I think of my mother who will be 82 in a few days.  I can see the look on her face at times when a pain somewhere grabs her, and I think OMG and she is 22 years older than I am and if I feel like I do now, what will it feel like then?  But what she has in spades is optimism and a zest, APPRECIATION for being alive that young people just don’t have.

aging gracefully

So, I guess it is a trade-off.  Youth for wisdom. Youth for experience.  Youth for appreciation.  Youth for memories.  IF, when you get old you lose your appreciation for being alive, and lose the ability to have dreams and hopes, if you can no longer look at a flower and just stand there and appreciate the beauty, then you have lost the point of your live and wish it could just-be-over.

Looking back at my life, seeing the things I did, the mistakes I made, the people I loved, (and still do) the lessons I have learned,  spurs me on to keep my dreams alive and to create new ones as I age.  Welcome the lines and wrinkles, the gray hair and the skin that begins to sag because each one is a story in itself.  Through all the experiences I have had made they have made me who I am. Is this called aging gracefully?
aging gracefully

I only wish I could do it with . . . a little less pain.