It very rough out there
Plagues are depressing. The gridlock of ambulances delivers a coughing multitude to the understaffed hospitals’ triage tent every day: That is a downer. Triage tents are where they tell you:
“Boomer you are toast! You rich well educated saints are all SOL. No vent, no bed in the tent. The ashes will arrive by FedEx to your next of kin.”
We, seniors, have seen a heap of ashes from Hiroshima to the Twin towers, and California fires. We’ve seen too many friends’ crash and burn after vaulting up the success ladder.
Enough already. Is there no “other side to this tragedy coin?” I’m looking for stories of ashes to Phoenix. Is no one wading through ashes only to find their wings and soared to unexpected heights?
Meet the ever beautiful Holly
Yes there was Holly. She was the beauty queen of our 8th-grade class. She had long silky blond hair and the cutest ski-jump nose on the prettiest face. Above the nose were two jive dancing eyes that usually intimidate guys. Below, a mouth that never stopped smiling, laughing and joking. She went on to live gilded life, but that was 70 years ago. The hair today is thin and less silky; the smile is more of a smile wrinkle. Divorces, heartbreaks, and age have done a job on her future. She planned to move back home to the U.S. following decades of frenetic gay life in Paris and London. Gayety prospects for an 80-year-old widow ex-pat, should be zip. Picking up the pieces and moving back home to a town she no longer recognizes and no longer recognizes her, portends “walking through ashes”.
Then a “Phoenix lightning bolt” struck in the form of an invitation to a reunion of the class of 1954. Arriving at the party she barely recognized any of the old gang, and least of all Larry. But she and Larry met and revived their 65-year-old friendship. They even dated. Larry had been preparing for an ashes type senior’s complex life. He had moved there so his wife could get the care she needed prior to dying. When she passed, he was planning to stay on and live a quiet life with other widowers.
Au Revoir Paris. Bye bye Old Folks Home
All through grade school Larry had been infatuated with Holly but had been too shy to approach her. Soon after the reunion, Larry checked out of the senior care center and moved to Paris to live with Holly during her final hurrah year in Europe. Larry helped her close the London flat, sell the two houses in France and move back to her home town. Months followed and the affair did nothing but improve. At 79 years young, the couple married in London, moved back and bought a house outside Boston. They are there now and settled in.
Holly has the adoring husband she always wanted and John is reliving the fantasy of his youth.
While others our age may become toast in triage tents, Holly and Larry are soaring higher than they ever expected.