Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Approaching Birthday

In the beginning, birthdays were the stuff of presents, cakes, friends… as I explore the second half of my life, they become reminders of a sort.

Very soon I will be reaching my 68th birthday; almost at the seventh decade portal. I sit here today, alone, staring at this typewriter, and my mind (yes Virginia, there is a mind inside there, somewhere…) wonders about, unfettered and unhinged from any and all the pertinent pressures of daily living. Not a small accomplishment, mind you.
Maria Jose

So, I thought I would give myself a gift and return to these blog pages, an area of my liking which I have left unattended for a long time. I stare at Maria José, who is my daily companion, a beautiful plant which sits there giving me her company (yes, “her”) without uttering any complaints or endearments, for that matter. I hope she gives me a clue about what to write… but, like a good psychiatrist, just listens, stares and says nothing…

I look at two of my father’s paintings which also accompany my days or, at least the time I spend here sitting at the computer. His living presence comes to mind; his love for Bohemian Life (no, not the beer… the lifestyle) which, somehow was passed on to me unknowingly; there is truth in saying that genes do not lie… Within me, all my life, there has been an internal strife between those paternal genes which espoused love, life, and the pursuit of relative happiness and the maternal ones, which predicated practical issues and thoughts… Hmmm… how is that for a perfect balance… or imbalance?

Small reminders of life’s passing are at my fingertips… like my driver license renewal, due at my birthday and letting me know the state will only trust me to handle the intricacies of driving around their roads for periods of 5 years or less from now on… lest I become a veritable menace to other citizens… even those who may be sharing those very same roads the authorities so want to protect while they drive stone drunk or, just plain stoned…

Over the past 3 months, I had the opportunity to visit with two of my aunts. One on my father’s side and one on my mother’s side, this last happens to be my godmother as well, and whom I had not seen in some 20 odd years. They both had about the same age (never ask or divulge the age of a lady, although once past 80… does it really matter?) and living a very different lifestyle.

Tia Marta R.I.P.
My paternal aunt, a widow for some 25 years, had received the news that a small cancer point had been discovered, for a second time, in her lungs. She, at the time of our visit and as always, was cutting a figure larger than life; easy going, content and looking forward to whether one day or one decade of life lay ahead. Unfortunately, she passed on. I say unfortunately, for she leaves a void in the heart of those who loved her. Yet, to the last minute (I spoke with her 5 days before what would be her last day) she was happy and accepting of her life as well lived, for indeed it had been.

4 Generations. My GM on the right
My godmother, also widowed for some 25-30 years, seemed a bit diminished physically… then, I am over 6 feet tall and she, following some bone issues, seemed to have become smaller and dependent on a cane to be able to get around. But, don’t let that fool you for a minute!!! She insisted on walking the two city blocks (my cousin, her daughter, tells me she walks around every day…) to the restaurant where we were going to have lunch and, a couple of times when I quietly slowed down to allow her to keep up… she would almost hit me with her cane while telling me she was “no old lady who couldn’t move”… That pretty much summarizes her life to now… and, hopefully, for some time to come…

All this comes together as I sit here, trying to build a mental mosaic of where I am now, at almost 68… then, the realization comes that I simply am who I am and that this is great… now beginning to explore the second half of my life in relative good health and looking forward to the one day, the one decade or the whatever number of years the Good Lord will still let me roam this earth in good stead…

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:

  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to

Doña América and other memories.

I know she has already been mentioned somewhen along this line of sometimes unhinged memories as they relate to moments of my life , but y...