The Circle of Life–We’re now Seniors!

Ding-dong! AARP calling!

If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym—I was also oblivious– AARP stands for American Association for Retired Persons

Without fail, on a monthly basis, AARP sends me an envelope with an enclosed red and white card, ready for activation. My name is embossed on the card making it feel/seem official.

The only thing official in my mind of course, is that by law and age, I am now a Senior Citizen.   I short, I have arrived.

Officially, this new “identification” has put me in serious denial.

Ok, so here are the realities checks.

Graying hair

Physical limitations

The “Senior Moments”

Worldly experience

And my own built in bias—I don’t want join anything pertaining to seniors.

Yes, I have it bad.

But I’m so in denial that I most times, I miss the actual benes—as in benefits/discounts—even when they’re offered at restaurants, car washes, movies etc—chalk it up to ignorance or um, arrogance.

The other day, I attended an informational seminar and the speaker just happened to mention the advantages of becoming a member of this reputable organization. Later that day, I did a little research and found out the benefits aren’t that shabby.  According to AARP website, benefits include access to health care products, discounts on auto and home owners’ insurance, not to mention a plethora of other services. And here’s the added bonus: discounts on travel, dining, travel and much more.

In other words, membership has its privileges.

The yearly membership is $16 and the bonus is if you join, you can add your spouse or partner for free.

Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that AARP advocates for its members on a local, state and national level on such pertinent issues as affordable medical costs, medical care, housing among other causes that inevitably will affect us all—and our families/caretakers.

I had to seriously re-evaluate my own “pride and prejudices” of feeling and self-categorizing myself because the reality is—all day long—is that it is what it is.

The other day a friend made me laugh until I cried.  “Girl! These days, I would consider it a compliment if they asked me to produce a card or my driver’s license! You know you got it good, when they just start applying the senior discount. Please!”

Now that the idea is settling with me, it’s time to get with the program—literally and figuratively speaking…..as in AARP.

For more information go to http://www.AARP.org.

 

 

 

 

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Never Can Say Good-bye

Adiós

Aloha

Arrivederci

Ciao.

 Bon voyage

 Sayonara

Bye Felicia!

Good-bye.

Wah!!!!!!!!

No matter how many ways I say it, saying good-bye is never easy. In fact, it’s down right uncomfortable no matter how it’s said or received.  Good-bye is usually affiliated with pain and finality.  Good-bye can also be closure or it can be temporary–as in for now.

By the time we reach adulthood, we learn that some good-byes are simply inevitable. Our lives changes and so does our circumstances. Nobody can foresee death, but  when it happens, we know good-byes are in order.   On Wednesday, August 10, 2016, I’ll will say good-bye to my dear friend Vicki because she and her husband are moving to Pennsylvania.

Honestly,  I’m feeling a certain kind of way. Somehow, the words continue to get caught in my throat– I am in denial. Sure, I attended her going away party last week, but it doesn’t mean I’m emotionally good. While I am happy for her, I cannot help feeling sadness but not sorry for myself.  In fact, I consider myself lucky that Vicki and I became friends. These days, I am very cautious who I call friend, but in this case, I feel so honored she’s part of my life.

Writing about our friendship—even now—is bittersweet.  I thought I could detach and just write from the heart, but it’s not working too well emotionally. Even as the tears fall, I continue to write this tribute to Vicky. So, here goes. Our friendship took flight in 2005/2006, when we worked together as teachers assistants. Nobody told us how strong we would have to be in this daily, challenging environment.  Luckily, Vicki is the epitome of being cool, calm and collected.  You’ll rarely ever see her sweat. One of her many attributes is that Vicki is positive which I immediately gravitated to despite my best intentions to stay aloof. I remember us laughing until our sides hurt when I told her what I was really thinking about her:

Who’s this happy chick?

 Who shows up with this can-do-attitude?

 Who always has a scripture or common sense example off the cuff?

And who, pray tell, even recognizes their co-worker whose a bit stand offish and won’t even return a smile.

Vicki.

“Hey Love,” she’d say giving me a big hug the first thing Monday morning. Really?

“Hey yourself,” I say after the embrace while looking at her sideways.

“I’ve already observed you have mad creative skills. Great! You and I are going to get along fine. Did I mention I told some of the teachers you’re also  writer too?”

“Girl please,” I said rolling my eyes in disdain.

Yet, Vicki never gave up on me.  Somehow, she has this uncanny ability to love deep from the heart and to love unconditionally—flaws in all. She’s always say “Girl, just be your authentic self and that’ s good enough. This time last year, I tried to “gloss over” a major event in my life.

“I’m fine,” I said obviously overly exaggerating “fine.”

“Girl, I’m on my way,” she said.

Now, I realize that she was on loan to me from God for He must have known that I needed a true friend.

Good-bye for now, my friend. There, I said it.

Knowing this good-bye is only temporarily, I quickly change the trajectory my thinking by saying “See ya soon.”

In parting, I dedicate this quote to our friendship: “We shared our happiness and we’ve shared our fears. We shared so many things throughout the years. And when the times were hard we were by each other’s side. You were there to make me laugh when I cried.” Missy Ulbrich.

I love you Vicki.