I used to have perfect hearing, although I could select what I didn’t want to hear. But now that I’m getting older, I am becoming more concerned about my hearing. I am also a recent cancer survivor, truly thankful for every day that I wake up.
She carried me when I was tired. She protected me when other kids were picking on me. She introduced me to new experiences and music, from dancing to the Beatles in 1964 in our West Lafayette, Ind., living room to my first Grateful Dead concert in 1968 — where she lifted me to the stage so I could dance with the band — to the music of Keith Jarrett in 1982.
When I decided to quit my job and make my first cross-country trip, I could picture it perfectly: a mix of taking in beautiful mountain and water scenery, visiting monuments and museums, consuming unhealthy and fresh food alike, hiking through our national parks and walking through new cities. Transportation would be in my four-door sedan and accommodations in rented homes and motels. And right there, riding shotgun beside me, would be Reuban, my chocolate lab.
His shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. "I just can't believe it; I can't fathom it," he says. "Are you telling me the truth? She's not available anymore?" This happens every time my dad asks about my mom, the love of his life, his partner and companion, and in recent years his anchor who steered his mind to safety and security in the here and now as it's slowly being undermined by Alzheimer's disease. She was his North Star. It's been almost six months since she died.
Skimpy hair is a real confidence slammer for women 50+. We blame bad genes or menopause, stock up on volumizing products, do the flip-over blow-dry and get on with it.
It is with an impossibly heavy heart that I write this post. Patricia Ann Stutz Goyer, passed on Oct. 11 after a brief and sudden illness. To many she was friend, mentor, teacher, director, aunt, sister, wife ... to me she was Mom, and she has been the inspiration for so much of my work and writing over the past four years.
When Judith Fox's husband died at 53, she found herself in an "alien world" of grief and shock. At only 50 years old, she didn't know any other widows and had no idea how to process the loss. Fast forward three years, and Fox was lucky enough to find love again. Three years after that, her second husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
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