You say, “Forty Niners!” I say, “Nevermore!”
Walked around the Senior Fair today at the St. Petersburg Coliseum. Most of the people attending were SENIOR citizens, exhibiting their SENIOR status by cutting in line, or blindly grabbing whatever was free and readily available. I went with two friends who are SENIOR type friends since we have known each other and hung out together for more than 21 years. They are older than me, too, so they are definitely my SENIORs. Afterwards, in the car, we talked about our days in high school, especially as SENIORS and especially since the behavior of these SENIOR citizens reminded us of children. Later, we had lunch with my husband and a coworker. We didn’t ask for the SENIOR citizen discount. Didn’t need it – Wednesday the wings are only 59 cents each at Mugs on Missouri. We headed for the Palm Harbor Library for our Tai Chi class – just for us SENIOR citizens who need help with our balance. The oldest participant is 91, and so I suppose he is our SENIOR SENIOR. Now I’m off to treat a friend to dinner for her birthday. She’s celebrating her 25th, and she has SENIOR status in my eyes when it comes to favorite non-biological kids. I think we’ll have some wine with dinner. That is, if I remember, and don’t have a SENIOR moment.
Yes, it is. I enjoy taking a magazine to the doctor’s office and reading in the waiting room until my name is called. Having something to read relives the stress when I wait more than 15 minutes. I enjoy leaving this print edition behind, if I finish it, as I hope someone else will enjoy it. I once enjoyed reading NEWSWEEK magazines in print instead of on my husband’s iPad. My subscription expires in 2015, and I refuse to get an iPad JUST to read the non-print editions of magazines to which I subscribe. I miss the feel of my NEWSWEEK, as I touched the pages, flipped through the magazine from back to front or vice versa, pausing on pictures or words that I wanted to peruse. The last issue was dated 12/31/12. How many other subscriptions will cease to exist? Will I be forced to buy a device on which to read them? Yes, it is convenient to bring just that device with me wherever I go, but I am not going to leave it behind for others to enjoy, nor will I tear pages from it to mail to friends who should read what I read. The print edition did not need recharging, or extra care while outside or on the road. The print was charming. Print IS charming. Alas, I am in the minority. Otherwise, why is this so special?
I did not know Samantha well. She was a gymnast, a RRHS student, a friend to many. One of my TV Production students was so impressed with her fortitude and grace that he created a 7 minute documentary about her in 2006. Oh! Did I mention that she was paralyzed from the neck down from a fall during a gymnastic routine in 2005? That she continued to pursue her studies, be optimistic about her future, and attempt to lead a normal life? She did not use her frailty as an excuse. She did not let it define her. And now she is no longer here. I learned of her death on Facebook, from a loving friend who was devastated by her quietly passing in the night. This seemed so out of character for Samantha, who was a fighter when it came to living. She fought for every breath and every moment on this earth. Yet she had a quiet persona, always loving and friendly with all she met and knew. Can you say the same about your life? Do you enjoy everything about your life? Or do you simply breathe and live each day like every other day, or complain that life could be better?
All of us need someone like Samantha in our life. Unfortunately, the one, the only, the best Samantha I knew – Samantha Slusak of New Port Richey – is no longer a living, breathing reminder that life is worth living and fighting for, and in the quiet moment, worth enjoying and loving. She is now a spirit, and her spirit will continue to inspire me to live life to the fullest.
Links from Samantha’s past:
I received this quote in my morning’s email missives. It came from Oprah.com; it was her thought for the day. As I prepare for today, I see wonderful things. I’ll be visiting with my friend from high school days. Once upon a time we were best enemies, vying for the leading roles in school plays and tempting the same men with our wiles for dates and more. Today we are best friends, and for more than twenty years she has been restoring my locks to their high school hue and vitality. She restores my soul and spirit, as well. What will you do today? What will you see?
Time is passing. Can’t stop it. Can enjoy it. Diane Rehm Show is on NPR, and the flag displayed outside is dancing in the gentle wind. Clean laundry awaits me, sitting in the warm dryer, as the outside temperature registers 53 degrees on this January Florida day. Tai Chi begins at 1PM, so rather than spending my time writing, I’ll spend time getting ready.