Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wow, So Many Changes

 If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. 

Author Unknown

The month after I retired I began attending a senior center and have  been attending the same Senior Center on a regular basis.  There are many others around, some that offer better food and more activities, but I am comfortable where I am.  I am a creature of habit, and I know all the workers and had myself a nice little social network.  Notice I said 'had'. Because now that is all changing.  I should have realized that in a senior center there would always be change, but I didn't really expect it to happen virtually all at once. 

Herbie's daughter placed him in a home.  Herbie  was the first person I met at the center, and after a rocky start, we got along well. I always carry hard candy in my purse, and every morning I would seek him out to give him one. He'd grin from ear to ear as he thanked me, and it made me aware that he wasn't used to being treated so nice.  Herbie's  hearing was bad, and he had a lot of trouble getting around due to back issues, but traveled from Staten Island to Brooklyn every day just to play Bingo. When he disappeared I was frightened because he had once professed to me that after the loss of his wife he felt he had nothing to live for.  I miss him terribly, but I know a home is the safest place for my friend.

Mary, 84, fell recently and smashed up her face very badly. She says it will be a long time before she comes back, if ever. She was always a woman who spoke her mind, and at times could be very obnoxious and abrupt. I learned early that she really didn't mean anything by it, and we became friends. Her fall really worries me because sometimes when someone so up in years falls, they are never the same.  My grandfather fell at age 80. Up til then he was fine, drove his car, had all his wits.  But after his fall he was never the same. He could no longer drive and quickly deteriorated to the point where he didn't even know who we were.

Betty J. is recuperating from a hip replacement. She still has to go through therapy.  She won't tell anyone her age, but she is really up there so I am guessing it will be a good long while before she returns.  I am a little annoyed with her right now because she hasn't checked in to let us know all is okay.  In fact, I bought a card for her and had everyone from the women's group sign it, but I have no idea where to send it.  She never said what hospital she was going to be in. But that is Betty, and that is her personality, very private.  I guess I just don't understand her secrecy because I am just the opposit.

Betty V. recently lost her apartment and moved in with her daughter.  It is too far for her to travel.  What an interesting person she was, and what stories she had to tell.  She was crowned Miss Brooklyn many years ago and sang and danced on Broadway. You would never know it today.  Just turned 70, but she looks older and has more ailments than those in their 90's. She admits that she smoked and drank.  'That only naturally goes along with show biz.' She said she will be around once in awhile, but I sure am going to miss her daily humor.

Elenore's agoraphobia has won out, and she no longer leaves her house. She used to talk about it in women's group and admitted that she forced herself to come. It wasn't that she didn't like us; indeed, she enjoyed her circle of friends. But, when winter hit and ice covered the sidewalks, Elenore, like most of us, chose to stay home.  We all returned when the ice melted, but Elenore remains locked in her home. I really miss her.  

Maria's sister passed away. and she flew out to California a month ago.  Her daughter lives in California, and I am wondering if the daughter finally managed to talk her mother into staying.

Tommy had a disagreement with the director and now goes elsewhere. Tommy was a 'tough guy' in his youth and it shows.  Not in a bad way, but you can see the 'bad boy' that he was. He is 81 now and boy, can this man dance.  He knows all the moves.  I used to love watching his Michael Jackson imitation.

Hong and his wife moved to Queens to take care of their grandchildren.  Unlike us, I've noticed that Asian people tend to do that. They pack up and move to help out their children.  Personally, as much as I love my boys, I not only raised them to the best of my ability, but also worked all my life, now it is time for me. Does that sound selfish of me?  It just seems like in the Asian culture, once you are an adult, you are never free anymore.  You raise your own kids and then you raise your grandchildren so that your kids can go out and work.  And when the kids get older, it is their job to do the same. 

And, on top of all this, the interns finished their internship, and they are gone as well.  Needless to say, I have been feeling pretty lost, but I have been meeting many more new and interesting people. Of these, my favorites are 99 year old Annie who can still do her thing on the dance floor and 80 year old Gloria who can belt out any old song requested of her.  I swear, she knows them all, and every day she asks for requests at lunch time.

Change happens. Old friends leave and new people, new friends are arrive every day. No matter how much we wish for it not to, everything continues to change around us. Change is unavoidable. I've always had a problem accepting it because I like things to remain as they are, but life isn't like that. Change is the way of the world, and  I found it is best  to embrace it, rather than fight it. 

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


  1. I'm like you Mary, I don't like change.
    Glad we don't know what's in store for us down the road.
    I did take care of a few grands in my younger days when I wasn't working, but nowadays.....not happening.
    Love my kids, but......prefer to see them just once in awhile.
    Thought something was wrong with me so it's good to know someone else feels the same way.
    Now, it's Our Time! ISYN!


  2. Good afternoon sweet you, I believe the Universe always puts wonderful new people in our lives when the old ones leave. Have a good time making all your new friends.


    p.s.have missed coming by....but have not been blogging much as of late.xoxo