Thursday, October 17, 2019

Red Day (Philip, José and Carolyn)

A funny thing happened at Best Day last week. I came in to the workshop at around 1PM wearing a burgundy shirt with stripes. I thought nothing of it, until I saw Frances, José, Delores, and Eleanor...all wearing red shirts. Even Hazel was wearing pink, which is really just light red. And the funniest thing is that I met with one of our former volunteers Kara for coffee that morning...and what was she wearing but a red hoodie! So I guess with the change in seasons came the changing colors...right in our workshop.

We're looking to decorate our Tenth Anniversary Celebration with lots of stories form lots of older buds! Send us their stories through this form. And if you want to do more to end senior isolation, click here to participate in our celebration, Friday November 8th, 10AM-4PM. Or if you’re looking to bring our storytelling experiences to your workplace, check out our lunch and learn.

And now I leave you with a leaf pile of stories to jump into and enjoy with a pumpkin-spiced treat of your choice:

Philip Pai
My Home Library

When I was young, I didn’t have books to read since my family was too poor, but I liked to study and I liked the books so much. Sometimes, I borrowed the books from the library that was nearby my house.
I remembered once I walked on the street, I saw a used book store on the corner. There was a lot of used books for sale and since the price was low, I was so glad that I found a place that I could buy cheap books so every day I got used books from the book store. When I found the used books that I liked, I would take it to my home and put it on the shelf. Doesn’t matter what kind of job I got. Anyways, I would buy the used books from the store. Right now, I have a small … library at my apartment. So if I have time, I did and go outside to borrow books from the library, I just stayed at home to enjoy my used books or review it there, for I am really liking my small library very much.

José Dominguez
Some of My Reading Frustrations

I have read some books in my life, many of them formative, amusing, enlightening, and practicable, but there were some impossible to understand by me. Even when I have read them several times or many times.
One of those was Derecho Administrativo (Administrative Law). It was the textbook for the course with the same name. My failure to understand marked my decision to only be a regular law student with [no other] purpose but [to] get rid of the pressure of grades. At the beginning, as a good nerd, I was looking for grades. After that book, I decided to be a regular, standard, normal student.
My second book problem was advanced statistics. When studying for a pad in education, I discovered that even when I was [an] analytical person, I was allergic to mathematics, probability, and all that paraphernalia. So I decided to be a humanist with superficial knowledge of statistics.
My third complication to understand a book was several weeks ago when being a participant of a reading group at a meditation center. I decided to read a book on Tibetan Buddhism. It was impossible for me. My study skills were insufficient, my logic system a failure, and my memory, as always, absent. So, I decided not to torture myself and left the reading group. Now I can use my neurons in things that I really like without damaging my self-esteem.

Carolyn Boston
Bucket List
Do you have a bucket list? What does it say? As we mature in life, we reflect on some of the things we never got to do during life’s journey. Some people decide they’d like to travel to foreign lands, others want to bungee jump out of a plane, but regardless of the desire, the idea is challenging.
I’ve seen the movie, Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and another actor whose name I can’t retrieve from my mind right now. The movie was hilarious and inspiring. Some people might say, “Why would you want to do that?” My goodness, why not? While we’re still living and fairly capable of moving around, we should set a goal that inspires and provides a sense of accomplishment and gives us something to look forward to. Plan it. Do it. And see how you feel. No matter how small the adventure or how big, make it something you’ll never forget. You can make your bucket list as small as a bucket or as big as a swimming pool. Along the way of fulfilling your bucket list adventure, you’ll find a greater and wiser and better you. You’ll learn more about yourself as well as others. The sky’s the limit and as Captain Kirk used to say on “Star Trek” – “Make it so!”
Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Differing Opinions (Joyce and Eleanor)

Medicine is a reality of a lot of our lives. Some people only worry about it when they get a cold or a flu, but many of us take medicines much more regularly. Whether it’s for blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, moods, focusing, memory, supplements, digestion, or even allergies, a lot of us take something on a regular basis. Many of our older buds are taking medicine, or have had to take it, so they have some very strong opinions about Big Pharma and how they charge too much; except for Eleanor. She supports the prices because the extra money goes into research and development. She’s also married to someone who works in pharmaceuticals, so she has an insider’s perspective. And the company her husband works for isn’t GlaxoSmithKline, and I don’t think it’s one of the other major companies. Either way, it’s always interesting to see where the Best Day peeps fall on issues like these.

Sometimes, the best medicine is having people in your life who will talk to you. Write up a prescription for the older buds in your life, and send us their stories through this form. And if you want to do more to end senior isolation, click here to participate in our tenth anniversary celebration, Friday November 8th, 10AM-4PM. Or if you’re looking to bring our storytelling experiences to your workplace, check out our lunch and learn.
So take two of these stories and call me in the morning:
Joyce Woods
06.13. 2019
The Day Daddy Left Us

In the year 1956, I was upstairs in my parents’ bedroom watching my Daddy, he was released from the hospital after a very long stay. He was suffering from lung cancer and it was fatal.
My mother was in the basement doing laundry.
My father had been in a coma for seven days at this point, the exact [amount] of time the doctors sort of timed this horrible news.
I would stay so close to my father. We were very close. I thought if I prayed hard enough, God would come up with a cure and Daddy would be well again and everything would be just as our happy life once was.
I would stare at him, watching every breath. Suddenly, he opened his eyes looking directly at me. I was elated, I was afraid to leave the room to yell for Mommy due to this might change his breathing. [His breathing] began to change. I noticed a different pattern in it, then another change, it became very hard to detect. I called out to him shaking him, “Daddy, Daddy, look at me.” He took a deep breath then very shallow ones.
I ran downstairs and looked in the drawer of the China closet in the dining room to get the hand mirror. I ran quickly back upstairs to place the mirror in front of his mouth, but to my dismay, there were no signs of steam from his breath.
No one had to say a word. I was heartbroken.

Eleanor Kazdan
Finding a Husband for Coco

Coco and I became best friends at summer camp when we were 15. We stayed close for many changes including marriages and children, and moving to a new city. We eventually drifted apart in our 40’s and had no contact for more than 10 years. I never stopped thinking of Coco though.
One day my father sent me a newspaper article about Coco’s parents with a picture of her whole family. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and decided to call Coco. She still had the same phone number in Toronto. I found out that she was divorced. In no time at all, we became besties again.
On my first day of a new job at a local hospital, while chatting with my supervisor, she stunned me by asking if I knew anyone she could “fix up” with a colleague and mentor of her husband. I suggested a few single friends in Philly, including my yoga teacher. She nixed them all. Over the next week, I thought of Coco. It seemed crazy, since I was in Philadelphia and she in Toronto, but I thought it might be fun to “double date” sometime when Coco was visiting. So Coco and Doug contacted each other by e-mail.
That whole summer, Coco was like a teenager, constantly calling me for advice. “What do you think this e-mail means? What should I write back?” Well, not only did they eventually fall in love, but they discovered that Doug had lived in Toronto in the 70’s and they had worked at the same hospital. And the most astounding thing was that their fathers had been colleagues in the ’40s and ’50s.
So, it was meant to be! A chance meeting (a great love story) culminated in a marriage. And it’s now been more than 10 years.

Thanks for reading. Stay happy and healthy.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, October 3, 2019

In the Spotlight (Norman)

Our 10th Anniversary Celebration is only one month away, and we’re trying to get as many guests, businesses, volunteers and older buds involved as possible. We’ve started passing out fliers at PSC last week to find older buds interested in volunteering at our story tables. That’s right! Anyone who comes to The Best Day of My Life So Far’s 10th Anniversary event (10AM-4PM at the Philadelphia Senior Center, 509 South Street in Philadelphia) gets the chance to hear some brand new stories from one of the stars of our blog. In fact, you can check out a few of them from our current group of writers here:

But I wouldn’t cheat you out of a new story. Here’s one from older bud Norman about migration, just in time for the birds to go south for the winter.

Norman Cain 
There is No Place Like Home
There are animal species who migrate and return to their points of departure yearly, among them, flocks of birds who migrate to warmer climates in the fall and return to their points of departure in the spring. Then there are some animal species that migrate to other areas – maybe because of food – and do not return to their initial areas of departure.
As for myself, I feel that I had time in my life, I could have embraced the two aforementioned migrating patterns; dual and singular. Duals being returning to point A+B during a regular basis and singular meaning to migrate and never returning to your initial point of departure. During my youth and teenage years, I would on an annual basis, leave Philadelphia each summer for South Carolina where I was parented by my maternal grandparents.
Between ages 17-18 and 19, I would migrate to a camp in the Poconos Mountains during the summer and College in West Virginia during the Academic years; only to return to Philadelphia upon graduating in 1964.
After Danny discharged from the Army during the summer of 1965, I resided in Philadelphia. 10 years before migrating between Atlanta, Georgia, and Philadelphia for 3 years – with one-year permanent residence in Atlanta. I was then stationary in Philadelphia for 10 years before living in Ocean City, Maryland for 17 years – until returned.
I have been living in Philly for 17 years. And plan to remain here. So, I have embraced both the singular and dual migrating patterns throughout my life. But of course, I take pro-life trips.
I will close by saying that I never intended to make Philadelphia my permanent residence but as the adage states, “There is no place like home sweet home.”
We’re trying to get as many older buds’ stories as possible before our 10th Anniversary Celebration. Send us their stories through this form. And if you want to do more to end senior isolation, click here to participate in our tenth anniversary celebration, Friday November 8th, 10AM-4PM. Or if you’re looking to bring our storytelling experiences to your workplace, check out our lunch and learn.
Unfortunately, no Senior Selfies this week. Some of the older buds were singing in Gospel Choir last week, so we went to see their concert. That’s the other reason I called this post “In the Spotlight.” So I leave you with these pictures from the concert.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri