Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Art of Aging (Eleanor, Elliot, Frances, José)

On November 14th, ABC News came to us about a news spot as part of their Art of Aging Series. ABC’s Art of Aging is all about the different ways seniors and people with disabilities are keeping themselves healthy and strong in Philadelphia and Delaware County. I’m proud to say that The Best Day of My Life So Far got its spot aired on January 2nd, 2020. You can watch the clip right here.

You can also stop by the Philadelphia Senior Center at 509 South Broad Street in Philadelphia to meet Best Day’s Older Buds in person. Whether you want to volunteer, meet some cool storytellers or just get an autograph, we’re always happy to have new people coming in. We’ve also posted stories from some of the older buds featured in The Art of Aging below:

Eleanor Kazdan
We were overjoyed when our grandson, Aron was born 5 years ago. My daughter, Julia, had struggled through 3 miscarriages with all the agony and devastation, and here, finally was this gorgeous little baby boy. I must confess that I was hoping she would have a girl, the reason being that her husband's family had a history of severe autism, and I had read that boys are 4 times as likely to be on the autistic spectrum. All seemed fine. But when Aron was 2, his daycare teacher voiced concerns. Aron didn't play with other children and did not readily respond to his name or questions. He also had some obsessive behaviors such as picking up every piece of trash in sight and throwing it in a garbage can. Testing showed that Aron was madly autistic. A diagnosis is a mixed blessing. At age 5, Aron has friends, responds to questions, has good eye contact and is funny and delightful. The obsessive behaviors have faded. He is a handful, though. He has occasional tantrums and difficulty transitioning from one activity to another due to autistic or normal 5-year old behavior. Well, I know for sure that he is a delightful little boy. Last week, after reading him a bedtime story, we talked about his 5th birthday party that day, and about other people's ages. "Is a 6-year-old still a child, Grandma? How about a 13-year-old? Will I live to 100?" I answered as best I could. A thoughtful silence followed. "I have a dream, Grandma, I'm going to live for a hundred million years!"
Elliot Doomes
I'm thinking of going to Wildwood, NJ for Thanksgiving. I have some family there. I have my daughter, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, three grand daughters, a grandson, and two great-grandsons.. The two youngest ones, they may recognize me, but they really don't know who I am. I mean, they hear me called "Pop-Pop" but I really don't think that they understand the significance of that title.They think its just my name. It's not who I am. I want them to know who I am while there's still time. I neer met or knew my grandpa and I had very little time with my father. I knew him, but I never got to know him. He passed when I as just about eight years of age. And I often wondered about who he was and what kind of man was he? I was liked by all my grandchildren and both of my grandchildren for who "Pop-Pop" really is. When I visit them, I very seldom hear my name mentioned by them. Although my grandson has my first name s his middle name, and so does his son. Although they know where the name comes from, they really don't know who that person is. And that's what I want them to know. So this holiday visit provides me with the opportunity to spend some me-time with them and perhaps I can create some memories that they can think back on and relate to. I had no such memories in my life and I didn't have much time with my paw. Although we lived in the same apartment, I only saw him at dinner time. After dinner, hew as preparing at bed for the net workday and the next workday. 

Frances Bryce
Paying Too Much for a Free Service

I paid too much for a free service. The phone, iPad, computer and other modern conveniences that they are now used to provide many services, some that one can truly say allow us convenience, which we enjoy and often save us time. This was not the case for me this morning when I attempted to pay my phone bill using the app supplied to me for doing this task that was supposed to save me time and a one dollar charge if paid on line instead of the store. The appeal was not having to visit a brick and mortar store and of course saving a sum of one dollar was enticing.

I wanted to pay for 3 months and the prompts allowed me to pay for one month, after trying to adjust the payment to 3 months which caused a 31 seconds that I was told would be the wait, lasted 1/2 hours until I finally got a person whose language I could understand, then was told that a $3.25 charge was added, a land protest sent him to his supervisor to undo this error (at least I hope it was corrected). I concluded that a dollar charge in the store seems to me outweigh the free payment play if made online. Time waste was worth more than the online free payment plan.

José Dominiguez
A Little of Wine Helps
When I go to El Paso, Texas, I always stay with one of my oldest brothers, Ramon. He and Bertha are a superb pair of hosts. They treat me as if I were the president of Mexico. The only thing that can be an obstacle with them is that they are 100% Christians and I am 100% nothing. They believe that everything happens according to what their fait says and do a lot of praying for everything.. I respect their way of living and appreciate all the warmth and courtesy I receive from them. But always I have thought that it will come the day wen I will face Ramon and his way of thinking.

This September, I went to El Paso, Texas and among other nice things, he invited me to drink wine, and it was a big bottle, so almost at the end of the bottle we were speaking more vividly and freely. Then I spoke to Ramon saying: "I want to tank you that even when we believe very differently and we have different ways of thinking, you have not tried to convince me, or pressure me in to your religion. And for that, I thank you for the respect you have with me."

There was no answer from Ramon. He only said, taking his glass with wine to his mouth: "I drink to that."

I want to give a huge Thank You to everyone who donated to our 10th Anniversary celebration over the past year. You really made our anniversary one to remember. And the party may be over, but we never stop sharing stories. If you or an older bud have a story to share, send them our way right here. Thanks again for everything you've done for us so far, and Happy Holidays.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri