Thursday, December 10, 2015

4th Quarter at the Madonna

 “When I opened my eyes, my hands were around her throat and I was squeezing.”  Such was a phone call from an enraged pal who’s mother (with Altzheimers) had pushed her a little too far.  For any of us who have been care givers for a beloved aged relative, you will relate to her actions.  Obviously, she smartly called me, (rather than continuing to apply pressure).  We still laugh about it today.  You can find humor in all those horrible events we suffer when our loved ones are aging or dying.

Anyway, since the reunion with my college roommates, I have acquired a new adult language.  Some of my favorites:  Angie said, “Now that we are in the 4th quarter of our lives, it has to be all about keeping joy in our lives.  That is to say, dealing only with people who w need to be part of our lives.  Only people who make us happy should be our daily fare.”  But I love the idea of a 4th quarter.  My mother had a friend who once informed me that half of my life had passed, so I better not waste any of the time that I had left.  That thought had never been a part of my everyday experience.  But she was right.  And it wasn’t until this last weekend, with people who I had known more than 3/4 of my life, that Matties’ words came back to me. With this in mind I am determined, if it’s possible,  to do only things that make me happy.   Yep, the 4th quarter could be the best quarter.

The other concept that was hilarious, was when Soozie said “I have to have a few minutes to spackle.”  We were all confused about what she was going to do. It seemed to us that the Madonna Inn (in San Luis Obispo) had its own workmen.  One of us asked her what the hell she was talking about.   At this point she picked up her make-up kit and went into the bathroom.

the All American Suite

There were lots of older adult concepts that flew around our discussions over the last few days.  But mostly, everything we said was just damn funny — to us.  It was the old, “you had to be there”, and for once, we were all there.  

If you have been following my Facebook posts you would have see photos of our stay at the Madonna Inn. Should you want a great laugh, go on line to The Madonna Inn website, and look at the rooms.  We were in the “American Suite.”  There were two king size beds facing one another  (feet to feet.)  There was a Gi-normous fire place in the middle of the room. And at the far end there was this indescribably big big big medieval setee. The decorator’s choice of colors was unexpected. The woodwork was painted mostly red, but there was some deep turquoise and of course, gold.  The most notable piece of furniture was the toilet.  The seat was warm, with a few buttons that washed your front, back, and dried what the water had cleaned.  When you wake up in a cold room with cold bathroom tiles, and there is a warm toilet seat awaiting your arrival, the joy is unimaginable.  The whole hotel is always colored with a combination of pinks and a touch of the rainbow. There is pink sugar on the table, a pink collar on the cat, and pink chairs in the dining room.  When you look at any one of the rooms, it seems like everything is a blur — there are so many lights that you don’t see anything with clarity.  It was the perfect place for our reunion.  It was as if whoever put it together had spoken to us in order to find the perfect combination of kitch and cool.

This morning’s goodbyes were painful.  This morning we were all suffering  separation anxiety and we weren’t even separated.  When we were in school living together, we shared secrets, experiences, knowledge and intimacies.  We watched one another grow up with all that entailed.   While our lives moved in different directions, there was always an invisible continuing connection.  So when we saw one another we played ‘fill in the blanks,’ but there was never a need to explain our emotional development.  I could go on and on but there are no words to explain what we were feeling for one another.

It is my hope that everyone in my life has life relationships with people in their lives when they are my age.  It takes a little effort when you are scattered geographically, but whatever it takes will always be worth the minimal work.  There is nothing to say except I think of these wonderful people, always, with love. We’re just sayin’…. Iris

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