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June 15, 2008



your father-in-law sounds like he's had such a rich, interesting life. you wonder where he is in moments like the one you describe on the porch. sometimes leaving this life seems like such a lot of work--it seemed so with my brother this year. and yet there are those wonderful, sweet moments, like the one when you just sat and held his hand and then the lovely one at the end of your story with the young girl-caregiver, those moments that help you through this.

Tena koe Beth,
Kia ora for sharing this. Your writings always leave me thinking of something close to me. My grand father came to America from Sweden, on the lusitania. He lived a rich full life, and lived till he was 100. His last years were a bit difficult, but he always seemed to have lucid moments, like your father in law, when I saw him. I love your father in laws memory of the fresh fruits and nuts, the slowness and deliberate enjoyment in getting to the nut. I was cleaning up leaves in my yard yesterday and came across a treasure trove of walnuts, and wondered if I should bother gathering them and opening them. You have given me the inspiration to do so. Cheers!

Sometimes I can relate a lot to your father-in-law: my mixed success at communicating, the intervals when I shut down at certain levels, my desire to stop doing things that once seemed normal but now don't interest me much (telephone conversations). If I could just learn some languages and acquire a colorful past . . .

I've also rediscovered table tennis in my old age. I've never seen anyone your father's age play it, though. Whew.

So, does the photo mean you found some green almonds? 99 - amazing. Sounds like he's doing as well as can be expected, with good caregivers, Bludani or not! Great that your dad is staying active, and competing no less.

Yes, Leslee, those are real ones I found at the market this week. I wonder if he'll be able to enjoy them at all - if not, that's OK. thanks Dale, Mary, Robb, Peter, for your comments, I'm glad my father-in-law's story touches something in you. Mary - yes, the calm beautiful moments are a big help; I wish the letting go were easier for him. Robb - I hope those walnuts are good! And Peter, I know exactly what you mean about the changing emphasis things take on as we get older. Table tennis has been a constant for my dad, though, and he's still extremely good and trying to improve, now that he has new knees. In his age group at the NYS senior games, there were 8 competitors, all younger than he is, and all still quite good (he didn't win but is looking forward to next year.)

Beth -- checking in late here. Thinking of you. We have green almonds on our tree if you need more...


I love to read about your father-in-law
Ninety-nine tomorrow!
Isn't that wonderful and worrying bith at the same time!

I'm so pleased you wrote about your father-in-law; I have been wondering how he is feeling.

Green almonds! Almost as delightful as raw pistachios. If someone not-native to the region can pine away for Syrian/Turkish nuts as much as I do, I can only imagine how the tepid the Californian kind must seem to someone who grew up there.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.