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:
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.
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