Rabbi Elkodsi, of the Malverne Jewish Center, wanted to segue into the topic of Leaving a Legacy. She got me. I realized where I am and where I am going and I WAS DESPERATE TO LEAVE A LEGACY. If my book is about one thing – it is about my journey to find a legacy to leave.
Legacy USUALLY means money. All the hospitals, all the synagogues and churches, all the summer camps, all the charitable organizations are all hoping I am in a position to leave them a legacy.
But what is a middle class mom supposed to do when there is not enough wealth accumulated to leave a legacy?
I wrote a book and am 6 chapters into my second. My girlfriend has knitted and socked away enough baby blankets to leave for the great-grandchildren she will never see.
What if you are single? Never had children? or will never have grandchildren? Well, I would say: “What did you enjoy most of all, in your life?” Was it food? Leave recipes. Was it skiing? Leave a scholarship. Was it swimming? Send someone to summer camp. Was it sitting in the park? Leave a bench!
YOUR PASSION is the answer. If you enjoy(ed) traveling, leave your cleaning lady a trip. Make your passion become your legacy. Make your legacy become your purpose and your purpose become your project. Just trying to get it done will keep you busy. Getting it done will make you proud. Sharing your project with the world will make you less lonely. And your life will find its meaning, so aging will be bittersweet, not just bitter.
This book is nuch too short, which is the only thing I have againt it. Short, pithy chapters, full of wisdom and wit and always with a little twist that moves you deeply and makes you reflect back about your own experiene. Take for example the hilariously funny and so poignant chapter about Becker’s mother. At the age of 87, sufferring from Parkinson’s disease and living in an assisted-living facility, she meets a younger, 84-year-old wrack of a man and they happily get married. Ms Becker dubs him G.I. Joe, because he had served in the Korean War. He makes serious plans to take his bride out of the facility after the wedding and move in with his daughter-in-law. Sadly, that was not to be, becuase G.I. Joe died of a broken heart – “he wanted his manhood and independence back so badly” (p. 35). Or take the “Shoes Again” chapter, which develops from what seems to be a frivolous, girlish preoccupation with footwear into a major lesson in human relationship, in fact leading to the most significant relationship of Ms Becker’s life, with her future second husband. “I am a woman, and therefore, I am defined by my footwear. How do I know? Because once, when I started a new job, a whole year and three months passed before a colleague spoke to me, and the first words she ever said to me were, ‘Oh, what cute shoes!'” Everything they say about the book in rhe reviews is spot on. But it’s much more than enjoyable, it is also a hugely satisfying book. Read it with close attention and you will get a lot of good tips for your own life changes. We do hope to hear more o Jacqueline Becker in the future.
Have you noticed that your mate is getting crazier and crazier as he ages? Have you realized that you are running low on patience for their nuttiness? My husband truly believes that MY book RAGING AGAINST AGING is all about HIM! He tells everyone, and believes it, that the funniest parts in the book are about HIM. Well, it is true the book is A LOT about our relationship. It is true that SOME of the parts about him are funny. HOWEVER, I guarantee some of the funniest parts are NOT about him – but they do come out of MY brain and mouth!
It is the next morning and we have to check out.We book in an overnight for my upcoming birthday. We are going to see Motown.
Last year, for my husband’s birthday, we saw Neil Sedaka perform at the Old Westbury Music Fair. Neil Sedaka looked pretty agile for a man his age, as he shuffled on stage for a full seven minutes before he was too winded to go on.He sang “Calendar Girl” and we went wild.He sang “Oh, Carole,” and we went wild.He sang “I Miss the Hungry Years” and we sighed.
After intermission, he started to sing his new songs from his new album.They were extremely poignant songs about aging. We couldn’t exit the place fast enough.And as we dashed out, I looked over my shoulder.I did not see anyone standing on line to purchase his new cd.
But I, too,am obsessed with aging. It is all I think about.It was only a split second ago that I had worked two jobs, three if you count the summer, gutted my house, ripped out every blade of grass from my front lawn with my own bare hands, planted perennials and laid slate stepping stones after watching an episode of Curb Appeal on HGTV. I am in a state of shock.I do not understand how and when this happened to me.I cannot engage anyone to talk about it.So I am blogging about it.And this way you can pretend you don’t peek.