Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Actually, I liked how George Burns rolled too: “Wow, what a GREAT cup of coffee!” Or whatever else.
Seriously, yes, things are fucked up and always will be, but the opportunity to have a human body and mind is a pretty great one, and I plan to make the most of it in the (hopefully not too) limited time I have left.
I’m not, actually, but I am very worried. I’m certain a family member, a very close one, has had a significant health event, and refuses to go to the doctor. “I’ll go next week.” He might not make it to next week.
I had to read this twice. I don’t know what type of health event you’re referring to, but a little further down in the column, Frank writes about a friend’s stroke and stubbornness. Sometimes people don’t want to acknowledge a weakness, sometimes an event changes them to an extent they’re not even aware of and some would rather die than face infirmity, hospital stay and gradual deterioration. For your own sake as well as his, I suggest confrontation. It doesn’t have to be harsh, but it’s at least as necessary as prayer. I wish you all the best.
Thank you for that Mike. It’s likely a heart thing, I think he’s got a blockage or blocakges. He’s had several episodes of severe pain, this time there was an accompanying black out, and he wakes up alone, black eye, dried blood on his face, tongue out (he knew b/c he woke up face down and it was stuck to the floor – gross but truth is hard to hear), and no idea how long he laid there. Before he passed out he’d had the presence of mind to take his bp medicine and two aspirin. Showed up Christmas day with the black eye and a bruised face. Said it was an accident with a tree stump – believable until I get a phone call from one of his family members (his ex wife’s sister in law) and she tells me what really happened.
I confronted him yesterday actually. I cried. I pleaded. “I have no insurance.” “I’ll go next week.” “Pray for me.”
Yeah, it’s that and a whole pile of other problems – from unreliable vehicles to having to come out of retirement and work for minimum wage, to the fear of losing his house, to not having the health insurance, to fear of losing that minimum wage job he just got that took him 6 months to land. Can we say crazy. I don’t know what else to do other than to send him money – which I did today, hoping it will ease the burden on his mind for at least a couple months – maybe long enough to get to the doctor and get his health addressed. I don’t know if he will.
There is far too much at stake for me to be negative. On November 5th, a friend of many years had a stroke, and on the day he came home, his wife broke her ankle.
They have no family here, and know few people. They are stubborn and tough as a hickory knot; he is impulsive, impatient, and angry. She trudges through the grim and good, with her pain and his.
He is back in a rehab facility while she recovers from her surgery. I built a ramp for them, and made their deck safe for them to use. Lola and I do what must be done, listen, and sometimes say what must be said.
One step at a time, and one day. It is not likely that things will be as before, but it’s time to step up and learn about friendship.
I too have this underlying negativity no matter how I’ve tried to tell myself the same old shot about how we only get one life and must make the best of it by operating with passion and practicing empathy. I can do that as I always have. However, the anticipation of living under the new pussy-grabbing regime is abaolutely terrifying. Now that one of the most prominent douche-bag capitalists of our time is now our leader, I have a sense of global negativity I’ve never known. Why write anymore? Why paint? Why strive to create anything under this new umbrella of bullshit?
Why? I’ll tell you why. Because those of us who see the Tangerine Nightmare for who and what he is must be heard and function best we can in spite of what goes on in the White House.
I used to laugh at my great-grandmother’s apolitical comments like, “Who cares about the president? What does he have to do with my life?”
Now I believe I have to take on the same attitude to save myself from drowning in negativity and wasting the rest of my life shaking my head and grinding my teeth about all the horrifying possibilities.
It’s also possible that my fear and the onset of the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it will inspire my best work yet.
I’m feeling negative as fuck. Yes, a couple things in my personal life are going well and a couple of things are going not so well, but Jesus H. Christ, this political world! I am not looking forward to World War III.
Not just negative, but scared as well. I feel there’s a lot of work to be done, but quite simply I feel we’re facing a tidal wave of evil that seems too powerful to stop. I’m overwhelmed. Where to begin? The environment, peace, racial equality, right to chose and sanity are all threatened by a political landscape gone mad.
I’m losing it while thinking about tubers — what do you get when you cross Donald Trump with a potato?
A dick tater.
And I feel bad equating the lofty spud with this maroon.
I guess I’m not. I know how many fronts we’ll have to fight on this year (I take particular shivers in Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, but we all have our specific demons). But I’m feeling more resolute than negative.
My grandparents made it through Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover. My parents survived Nixon and George Wallace and Huey Long. I have friends who currently endure Scott Walker and Rick Snyder. And yet, we’re collectively in a better place than we were in 1960, even though the tide is currently low.
My wife and I made two dozen phone calls on Monday night, to congresspeople across the country most central (on both sides) to the ridiculous drive to gut the office of congressional ethics. We were two of tens of thousands of people who did that. And on Tuesday morning, they knocked it the hell off. So individually, we’re outmatched, but collectively, we might win once in a while.
And since we’re all here, we have to acknowledge that there are books to save us. I just read Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness yesterday, by Jennifer Tseng. Complete miracle.
I decided to start this year with a cautiously optimistic approach and so far it has worked: finally received a settlement check from the BP Oil Spill Economic Loss gang and was asked to submit a manuscript asap. Since the past dozen years have been anything but a cakewalk for me, this has been a good first week. Wishing all things good to the folks who visit this site!