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Thoughts on the perception of age…

My thoughts on age – well, it doesn’t matter.

Why do I say this?

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The lost wallet

I was sent another awesome inspirational story. It was found on facebook by Shereen. *Thanks Shereen*

A LETTER IN THE LOST WALLET

As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked inside to find some identification so
I could call the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and a crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.

The envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it was the return address. I started to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline–1924. The letter had been written almost sixty years ago.

It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting on powder blue stationery with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a “Dear John” letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the writer could not see him any more because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him.

It was signed, Hannah.

It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way except for the name
Michael, that the owner could be identified. Maybe if I called information, the operator could find a phone listing for the address on the envelope.

“Operator,” I began, “this is an unusual request. I’m trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can tell me if there is a phone number for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?”

She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated for a moment then said, “Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can’t give you the number.” She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain my story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect me. I waited a few minutes and then she was back on the line. “I have a party who will speak with you.”

I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped, “Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!”

“Would you know where that family could be located now?” I asked.

“I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago,” the woman said. “Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to track down the daughter.”

She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living.

I thanked them and phoned. The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.

This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was I making such a big deal over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?

Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told me, “Yes, Hannah is staying with us. ”

Even though it was already 10 p.m., I asked if I could come by to see her. “Well,” he said hesitatingly, “if you want to take a chance, she might be in the day room watching television.”

I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large building. In the day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah.

She was a sweet, silver-haired old timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye.

I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, “Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael.”

She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said Softly, “I loved him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor.”

“Yes,” she continued. “Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you should find him, tell him I think of him often. And,” she hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip, “tell him I still love him. You know,” she said smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes, “I never did marry. I guess no one ever matched up to Michael…”

I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the elevator to the first floor and as I stood by the door, the guard there asked, “Was the old lady able to help you?”

I told him she had given me a lead. “At least I have a last name. But I think I’ll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet.”

I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, “Hey, wait a minute! That’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anywhere with that bright red lacing. He’s always losing that wallet. I must have found it in the halls at least three times.”

“Who’s Mr. Goldstein?” I asked as my hand began to shake.

“He’s one of the old timers on the 8th floor. That’s Mike Goldstein’s
wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks.”

I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the nurse’s office. I told her what the guard had said. We went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed that Mr. Goldstein would be up.

On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, “I think he’s still in the day
room. He likes to read at night. He’s a darling old man.”

We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, “Oh, it is missing!”

“This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?”

I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, “Yes, that’s it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward.”

“No, thank you,” I said. “But I have to tell you something. I read the
letter in the hope of finding out who owned the wallet.”

The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. “You read that letter?”

“Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is.”

He suddenly grew pale. “Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me,” he begged.

“She’s fine…just as pretty as when you knew her.” I said softly.

The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, “Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow.” He grabbed my hand and said, “You know something, mister, I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I’ve always loved her. ”

“Mr. Goldstein,” I said, “Come with me.”

We took the elevator down to the third floor. The hallways were darkened and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to her.

“Hannah,” she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting with me in the doorway. “Do you know this man?”

She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn’t say a word.
Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, “Hannah, it’s Michael. Do you remember me?”

She gasped, “Michael! I don’t believe it! Michael! It’s you! My Michael!”
He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and I left with
tears streaming down our faces.

“See,” I said. “See how the Good Lord works! If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

About three weeks later I got a call at my office from the nursing home.
“Can you break away on Sunday to attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!”

It was a beautiful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed up to join in the celebration. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their best man.

The hospital gave them their own room and if you ever wanted to see a 76-year-old bride and a 79-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had to see this couple.

A perfect ending for a love affair that had lasted nearly 60 years.

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READ

Monday seems to have turned into the day of inspirational posts.
I love inspirational pieces.
They really make you think… and more than that I love that everyone has a different reaction. I’ve said that before, haven’t I.

So what do you think about the following piece? I am interested to read your thoughts.

An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose.

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk non-stop.

I was always mesmerised listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she revelled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.

She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.

We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

image from google images

image from google images

When I had finished reading this piece I went to look for the lyrics to “The Rose” written by Amanda McBroom and sung by one of my favourite vocalists Bette Midler.

The Rose

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed

It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun’s love, in the spring
Becomes the rose

for a little extra info – here is how the song came about… In the words of Amanda McBroom

HOW “THE ROSE” CAME TO BE

“People often ask me what inspired me to write The Rose. Here is the story:

I was driving down the freeway one afternoon, some time in 1977-something.

I was listening to the radio. A song came on the radio. It was “MAGDALENA” by Danny O’Keefe, sung by Leo Sayer. I liked it immediately. My favorite line was “Your love is like a razor. My heart is just a scar.”I thought,”Ooh, I love that lyric.”

As I continued to drive down the road the thought came, I don’t agree with the sentiment. I don’t think love is like a razor. (I was younger then.) What, then, do I think love is? Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened a window in the top of my head. Words came pouring in. I had to keep reciting them to myself as I drove faster and faster towards home, so I wouldn’t forget them. I screeched into my drive way, ran into the house, past various bewildered dogs and cats and husbands, and sat down at the piano. Ten minutes later, THE ROSE was there.

I called my husband, George, into the room and played it for him, as I always did with my new songs. He listened, and quietly said to me, “You’ve just written a standard.” I protested that no one but my pals would ever hear it. (This is long before I had ever recorded anything.) He said,”Mark my words, something is going to happen with this song.”

A year or so later, a great  young songwriter named Michele Brourman, who became my primary musical collaborator and best friend, said “Listen. There is this movie coming out called “The Rose”. They are looking for a title tune. Do you want me to submit this to them?” I had never really tried to submit this song to anyone. I didn’t consider myself a song writer at the time. So I said, “Sure.” Originally the film had been called THE PEARL, which was Janis Joplin’s nick name. But her family refused permission to use that name. Lucky for me. “Pearl” is MUCH harder to rhyme.

She submitted the tune to the producers, who HATED it. They thought it was dull and a hymn and NOT rock and roll and totally wrong. They put it in the reject box. But the divine Paul Rothchild, who was the music supervisor on the film, and had been Janis Joplin’s producer, hauled it out and asked them to reconsider. They again said no. So he mailed it to Bette. She liked it, and that’s how it got into the film and changed my life forever.

I have never written another song as quickly. I like to think I was the window that happened to be open when those thoughts needed to come through. I am eternally grateful… to Bette… to Paul Rothchild… to Bill Kerby, who wrote the screenplay…to my friend who first submitted it for me… and to the Universe for speaking to me in the first place and for showing me what I truly believe.”

Pretty awesome – right. 🙂

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Tale of a blind cat – Part 2

Having two blind cats of my own, differently abled pets have my soft spot. Yes it takes some getting used to – especially when you have had fully abled pets your whole life, but it certainly isn’t a train smash.

After a period of getting to know one another it’s just like living with a fully abled pet… only better.

It’s not at all uncommon for pets, particularly older ones, to suffer vision loss, like my old boy Kitt, or to be blinded through an injury like the “Princhipessa” Mimmo.

Mimmo when we adopted her

Mimmo when we adopted her

Normal cat vision is close to humans, or perhaps just a little less. Pets have more problems focusing on near objects than people do though, which is why Kitty may have trouble seeing the last few kibbles in the food bowl.

Although their vision is important to them, cats’ senses of smell and hearing are much more developed than ours. Your cat’s sense of smell is superior; it is one of the ways in which kitty interacts with her environment. Cat’s nostrils are working constantly.

Now here’s a really cool fact… A cat’s nose is small and neat, but hidden behind it is a maze of bones and organs. Cats have 19 million odour-sensitive cells in their noses compared to 200 million in dogs and about 5 million in humans.

In addition, cats are equipped with glands that secrete pheromones, which are identifying scents and will help her find her way around the house. These glands are found on your cat’s cheeks, on her lower legs, and under her tail. She deposits her scent marks as she walks and when she rubs her cheeks against something. I first heard about this from watching “My cat from hell” on Animal Planet. Jackson explains that if you rub your cat on the face, activating these hormones gives kitty a sense of affection. Which also explains face bumps.

A cat’s sense of hearing is amazing. Cats can hear high frequency sounds that we cannot. They can also distinguish the tone or pitch of sounds better than we can. *that is why they sing better for their supper – laughs*. Their ability to locate the source of a sound is highly advanced. From metres away, a cat can distinguish between sound sources only seven centimetres apart. They can also hear sounds at great distances – four or five times further away than humans. Which explains why Bart gave Melanie the run around. and why they need to be protected from fireworks

It’s not cruel to allow your pet to function as a blind pet. In fact, blind pets are not nearly as concerned about their disability as owners. When your pet becomes blind, he’ll just rely on his sense of smell and hearing. In many cases, vision loss is gradual, and pets adjust so successfully that owners are surprised to discover that their ageing cat has become blind. Kitt is definitely more wobbly since he went blind in his one eye, although he still jumps and acts pretty much normal.

On the subject of cruelty, whiskers are used by cats to help them feel around in narrow spaces, especially at night time. Therefore a cat’s whiskers should NEVER be trimmed; this is especially true with a blind cat. If their whiskers fit through an opening it is likely that their entire body will too, so if their whiskers are trimmed their sense of their own body dimension goes out of synch.

Here are a few tips to help a newly blind or newly adopted blind pet adjust –

    It may be helpful to “scent” important objects for the cat with strong odours such as peppermint to help his nose “see” what he’s looking for. Provide toys which make a noise or catnip toys which your cat can smell.
    Don’t move furniture around

    Litter trays

    Food bowls etc.

    Feed your cat at the same time every day.

    If you do move something, move it back immediately.

    Keep the toilet lid closed

    Keep the house clutter free

This is so kitty can easily manoeuvre around your home and will always know where her belongings are.

    Avoid startling your cat with sudden noises. If there is a sudden noise, such as a pot being dropped, gently assure your cat. Blind pets memorise and “mind-map” the house, and moving things around will confuse him. It’s not at all unusual for a blind cat, for instance, to still insist on making floor-to-counter leaps with confidence as long as her memory remains fresh and accurate.
    It is also important to safeguard danger zones, particularly if unavoidable changes must be made. For example, pad the sharp edges of furniture with bubble wrap until your cat learns to avoid the danger. Block off steep stairways with baby gates to prevent falls. Block off access to windows & balconies which have a long drop to the ground.
    Your pet’s personality and behavior may change a bit as vision fades. Some pets become more dependent on their owners, and act “clingy”—basically they treat you as a guide, stand very close, and follow you around. Get in the habit of speaking to your cat when you enter or leave a room to help her keep track of your whereabouts.
    In multiple pet homes, another cat or dog may serve as a guide for the blind pet. Help your blind pet by attaching a bell or other noise maker to the other animal’s collar. When I visit the farmers market once a week, the “egg lady” has two little Chihuahua’s. One of these boys is blind. When the fully abled boy barks, the blind boy doesn’t know when to stop barking. They are very attached to each other and I think they in fact guide each other.
    To avoid tripping over the pet, like Kitt that’s always underfoot, provide a safe, comfy bed in each room. Very social cats may become standoffish once vision fades. They’ll want to avoid contact with house guests to avoid being stepped on.
    Blind pets also startle more easily, so always speak to your cat before petting him to avoid being accidentally nipped or swatted in reflex. We adopted Mimmo shortly after her injury and if you approach her from her blind side, the possibility of you being swatted is high.
Mimmo - the princess...

Mimmo – the princess…

    Most importantly: Make sure your cat has permanent identification. If your blind cat does accidentally end up outside, it will be harder for him to find his way home. Identification will therefore increase his chances of being reunited with you. Provide your cat with a collar & ID tag which states that your cat is blind.

If you enjoyed this post you will certainly enjoy Melanie’s story about Bart a blind ex feral, or read my published article in PawPrint Magazine

Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page or add your email address above and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!

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