Hello Again

Please forgive the silence of my blog since the new year began. I celebrated Friday the 13th by breaking my leg. Some might say it’s an omen for the year, but I’m not in the mood to accept that. After a rude three-week introduction to the helplessness of old age, I’m now reclaiming my place as merely senior.

As a writer, I’ve always prided myself in my ability to change perspectives—to walk in my character’s shoes. I’m humbled. I don’t think I could have created the sense of having stepped out of ongoing life.


When the book on the table across the room is no longer available, your sense of being an agent in your life suffers mind-shifting shock. Fortunately, family, friends, and caregivers have treated me as an active participant, or my mind might have given in to the inevitability of that state.  To anyone who finds

themselves in such a predicament, I say, “Get connected.” Listen to the news. Pick up the dog. Join the conversation. Because I’m hard of hearing, I know the pull to withdraw, stop listening, give in to the feeling that what you have to say is no longer relevant. Advice on aging emphasizes the need to stay connected, physically and mentally, and my recent experience brings it home. Stay involved.


I’m reminded of Debra Dean’s Madonnas of Leningrad. The book opens with an elderly woman, Marina, fixing hersel breakfast, though she can’t remember whether she made the toast or, as it turns out, that she’s already eaten. When teaching, I’ve used this short chapter as an example of truly getting into your character’s perspective. In the next chapter, Marina is a young woman caught in the siege of Leningrad during World War II, and tells of the group of women, the Madonnas, who formed a communication system from the rooftops of Leningrad to bring supplies into the besieged, starving city.  The story is powerful in itself, but its presentation as a story lost to Alzheimers jars the soul.

 I felt that same shock of cruelty when a dear friend couldn’t remember that she’d been a writer. I’m fortunate to have avoided cognitive disease, but slow cognitive decline awaits the unwary. Recently, my housemate and I had to move her mother from an independent living to an assisted living situation. In the former, the diningroom buzzed with conversation; in the second, vacant bodies stared at their plates. My physical inability to reach a telephone, a box of Kleenex, a glass of water, gave me an ample taste of life beyond one’s reach. As I write this, I’m moving again, albeit slowly on a walker, and am more than thankful for the daily walks I committed myself to three years ago. If you are one who, like me, is living the experience of age—don’t drop out.





6 Responses to Hello Again

  1. Ann February 13, 2023 at 7:28 pm #

    Accidents and aging seem to go hand in hand, but they are moments of reckoning. So glad you are mending and have a support system.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Judy February 26, 2023 at 5:26 pm #

      I’m doing well, thanks, and am relieved to know there’s still a little bounce there.

  2. Teresa Hansen February 15, 2023 at 7:33 am #

    As always, you are an inspiration!

    • Judy February 26, 2023 at 5:25 pm #

      Thanks, Teresa. I hope it helps –attitude is everything.

  3. Joseph A Vitovec February 16, 2023 at 12:44 am #

    Don’t let the old man or woman in.

    • Judy February 26, 2023 at 5:23 pm #

      Thanks, Joe. however, denial only takes you so far, then you do things you shouldn’t be doing and people tell you to act your age.

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