Phone Call to Nona

Nona was one of Moz’s dear friends. I hadn’t talked to her since shortly after Moz passed last February. I don’t remember much of what was said in our conversation anymore – another blur in a month of blurs. But this week, as I was working on Christmas cards, Nona entered my thoughts. I knew I needed to send her a card. She’d moved recently, and I didn’t have her current address, but I knew that Moz had talked to Nona not long before she passed on, and figured I could probably find Nona’s phone number in Moz’s address book. And sure enough – there it was!

I called. I guess I was half-expecting to hear the fragile, quavery voice of an elderly lady on the other end of the line, but when Nona answered the phone it was in the same voice I remembered from 40 years ago – strong and healthy and joyful.

“Hi, Nona – this is Colleen’s daughter, Karen…” I began. And she knew immediately who i was and seemed really happy to hear from me.

We talked about Moz, and Nona asked about my 99 year-old Dad. I told her that he’d been in and out of hospice twice now. He’d recovered from a UTI and been taken off hospice, then gotten a blood clot that I was told would kill him within a matter of months and put back on hospice. The blood clot had dissolved and disappeared on its own, and he was taken off hospice. Then he’d developed cellulitis and pneumonia. And had recovered from those things. I’d told my sons they were probably going to inherit Dad someday. The older son had said that we would just pass him on from generation to generation like an heirloom. Nona got a kick out of that. She said Dad is just like that Energizer Bunny. And I agreed.

Nona told me a little about her new home – and how she was led to find it not long after her husband died, and how beautifully everything had unfolded for her.

It was so good to hear her voice again – so good to hear the strong joyful voice of one of Moz’s contemporaries. There was something kind of fortifying and reassuring about it, you know? It was nice to be of the “younger generation” for just a few minutes.

And when we finally hung up I started sobbing.

No. I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to have to go back to being the grown-up.

 

The Music Abideth Forever

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the (music) abideth for ever.
– paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 1

Mom asked me if I’d like to go downstairs and listen to the music program in their retirement place with her. I thought this was a fine idea. Dad was taking a nap and she asked me to wake him so he could join us. I went in and kissed his forehead. His eyes blinked a couple times and opened. He saw me and smiled. “Hi, neighbor!” he said. I asked him if he wanted to go downstairs and listen to music with Mom and me and he thought this would be a great way to spend some time.

The music was fun – songs I’d never heard before. The residents all seemed to be familiar with the lyrics and sang along with some of the tunes. 

It occurred to me, then, that in maybe 10 or 20 years the music that will be blasting out of retirement homes will be The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, The Beatles, Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Hollies… and the idea of that cracked me up. 

“Who shall declare this generation?” Who shall decide what truth and love are?
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

Millenials Rock!

Quick stereotype – because, like, what would the world be without them, right?: The Millennial generation rocks! There’s just something about this group of people that… I find myself trusting in them to do the right thing. They seem to lack a lot of the prejudices and nonsense that came before them, and they don’t seem at all intimidated or daunted by the idea of forging massive political change. More than that – I see kindness in them. Yesterday on my walk back from the post office a “Millenial” stopped his car to ask me if I needed a lift. I told him I was enjoying my walk, but thanked him for asking. He laughed and said he’d figured I was out for a walk – but he’d seen me when he was driving the other direction and just wanted to make sure I was alright. Yup. I think our future is in good hands.

(Click here to read   The Six Living Generations in America, an interesting piece by Dr. Jill Novack.)