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Funerals

I am scraping, at least for this blog’s issue, what I originally wrote and will write about this weekend’s funerals. We have lost two great people, in our time line, and they both will be sorely missed. These were contrasting funerals; one somber and one long with hype. Both were expected to be the way it happened.

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul and will never be forgotten. Her music will live on forever. The funeral was over eight hours long and most of the entertainers of song were there. The funeral was filled with music coupled with speeches. Quite a few celebrities sang her songs and a few sang traditional songs that Blacks usually sing during high spirited church services. The eight hours were long although the music didn’t make it seem so.

She passed on as the queen she was. During her lying in state to the interment, she had three wardrobe changes and a viewing by thousands of people. She was driven in a nineteen forty nine (I think) white hearse, the same one her father was carried in. From all over the country pink Cadillacs were bought in and the long rows of cars were parked outside the church. This was in remembrance of her hit song “Pink Cadillac”. What a sight and what a way to go.

People were there that I have not seen in a long time and are very old as well. They all looked and sounded good. Stevie Wonder started his time by playing the harmonica, something I have not seen him do in many years, before he played the piano and sang. The church was jubilant with all the music and singing.

Senator John McCain’s funeral was solemn and the church was filled with dignitaries from all parts of the political world as well as both sides of the political aisle. Former President Obama and Former President Bush both spoke. President Trump was dis-invited and the eulogies, which include his daughter Meghan, took swipes at Trump. It was not a surprise.

I admired this man, not only as a military veteran but also as a politician. This was one person that was well known to reach across the aisle and work with everyone. He would disagree and, when shown something different that he could go along with, he would be man enough to agree. He did not put party ahead everything but cared about what was right, lawful, helped the USA, no matter the party view.

Unfortunately, Senator Graham, who was his very beat friend, a person that stood beside him on many, many views, and was against Trump as was Senator McCain is now staunchly in the President’s corner He has reversed almost everything he have said in the past. Oh, what can happen in a week (a day?).

So I watched funerals and I wonder, as I have in the past, what will mine be like? I really don’t want all the hoopla that go on (it’s a waste of money, in my opinion), just have a few prayers and bury me. I just hope I have lived up to the hopes and standards that was expected of me. I hope I haven’t done any wrong to anyone. I also hope I have been some help to someone that needed it. We all must pass on some day, let’s hope there is something good to say after you’re gone.

 

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Life Versus Football

Must be having a senior moment. I inadvertently deleted this blog, now I am rewriting it with the hope it will be as good as the first writing. Then to top it off Facebook will no longer automatically post from my website. Oh well, such is life, stuff happens. Now, since I have vented and explained my frustrations, on with this week’s blog.

My wife and I were in the pool and hot tub as I was remembering the Hall of Fame football game that was on the other night. This is my season, live pro football but I also was thinking about what to write for the blog when it hit me. Life versus football, an analogy. Football, like all games, is, or can be, a metaphor for life’s achievements, it’s all a struggle.

Football is a team game with the quarterback as a strong helper to achieve the winning end result. However, all members of the team play a part, without them the end result is failure. Such is life with the mate as the quarterback helping the team member achieve whatever is the goal in life. Nothing will be achieved without the members of the team working in sync. The goal will not be obtained without helping each other getting around or through the obstacles that will certainly be in the way. There is always a struggle with aches, bruises, tears before jubilation.

Like the saying, it takes a village, so does the game of life, everyone plays a part to see the final goal and crossing it. The other members of the team (the village) help moving the obstacles so that the final goal is possible. They may not be the star but they are there to help. No one does it alone no matter how hard they try or how brilliant they are, there was help coming from somewhere.

Then, after the goal is reached the team will attempt to push you further, the one or two points that comes after the touchdown. Such is life when you reach your goal, you don’t stop there. There is always more in life as in a football game, they are both the same. Keep pushing until the game is over and the final score is posted, don’t give up on life.

Also, don’t diss your team as if you are the star and did it all yourself. Thank your quarterback as well as the other members of the team. Your pals were only on the sidelines celebrating as if they helped to achieve the goal, than your true helpers, the ones that had a shoulder for you to cry on. Those team members were there to give a helping hand when one was needed and did not make excuses and did not help. Those team members had an ear, listened and gave good advice then faded into the background so you could be in the light. Thank that quarterback that was there from start to finish because without one the game stops before it starts. Always remember your team especially your quarterback, the ones that helped you through life and made it possible for you to achieve your goal in life.

Reunion 2018

This month have been an exciting month, to to say the least, I will make this short by hitting the highlights. For those that read my blog, which is written every other week, I did not write one the week before last. My wife and I was in Orlando, Florida for the family reunion that is every two years at a different location with a different theme each time. This was the fifth family reunion and it was a lot of fun, games and food.

There is a lot to see and do in Orlando with not enough time to do either. It is great to see and talk to members of the family that haven’t been seen nor talked to in the past two years. To acquaint oneself with the going on and happenings with the other, out of state, members of the family and to just have fun to boot was great. After seeing helicopter tours all over the place I decided to take a couple of the younger male members on their first flight in a helicopter, they loved it. We flew over Disney World, the surrounding areas and back. Well worth my money to see the area from the air and the smiles on their faces.

The welcoming event, picnic and costume banquet was great, as always. I believe we outdid the last one which was in Lancaster, Pa. For the welcoming event, the first day, we all wore the last reunion tee shirts and, of course, for the picnic we wore this year’s tee shirt with the extended family names on the back. For the banquet each branch of the family wore a Disney character costume with prizes given for whoever was considered the best. My wife wore Tinker Bell and I wore Peter Pan but we didn’t win.

Many families rented houses (two or three families to a house) to stay in for the reunion, with members of the family coming together to cook, eat and party well into the wee-hours of the morning just to start the day over again. Life is beautiful and filled with fun. As always, all good things must come to an end. We were with children, grand children, great grand children, cousins and very close friends. It was really great to see all of them and make plans for year 2020.

Upon returning to Richmond, we stayed overnight with my wife’s sister before returning to Virginia Beach. It was nice to be back in the Capitol City again and I made a last doctor’s appointment while there. Coming back to Virginia Beach, I finally made the transfer to the Veteran’s Hospital in Hampton. Now I can concentrate on making plans for the Hahn AB, Germany reunion that will be held in California next year. My wife have never been to California but I was stationed at a base in the state in the 60’s. It will be great to see old friends that I used to supervise and those that have supervised me. We also have two or three more trips for the remainder of this year, I can hardly wait. A lot to look forward to.

Who say senior’s are too old to travel and have fun? All it take is a willingness to want to do it and go out and do it. Life is too short to let time and things pass by. Like the commercial say “Just Do It”.

Changes

I have attended two military management schools plus one when I became a civilian. The first thing that is always drummed into my head that I have found to be true today: there is always a resistance to change. In all my years of moving around in the military or having a change of command, I learned to adapt, go with the flow, things are not as bad as it seem, life goes on.

At the end of the month Bookdale Senior Living will leave to be replaced by Somerby Senior Living. Change. As I look into Somerby, as president of the Resident Council and as an independent resident at Imperial Plaza, I don’t, at this time, see any negative signals about the change. At this time, all I see are positive things. Sure, the pharmacy is lost but that was a part of Brookdale and, as told to me, Brookdale could not find a replacement willing to operate on the premises. Somerby, looking into their other facilities, have never operated a pharmacy on their premises. Maybe later they can be talked into trying although there are many regulation hoops to jump through. Changes.

A lot of people at Imperial Plaza either do not understand or refuse to understand that to them this is their residence but to Somerby or any other company this is a business and businesses must abide by laws and regulations. They want to not cause any disruption to the daily lives of the residents but, at the same time, must do what business practices demand. Sure, with change there will be some disruption of the way things have been done but change cause people to adjust to the subtle change in the way things were done.

Many people, especially senior citizens, want to stay in the same old mold and do not want to change, whether good or bad. They do not want to try something new or even talk about it. I have found a lot of people here always talking about the way it was done back in the ’40s and ’50s and they still want it done that way. On days when the activities department have music, old swing music have the place almost full. On days when up to date music is played, very few people attend then complain that there is nothing to do. They hate change and have to be dragged along into a new era.

I wish Somerby luck in managing Imperial Plaza and attempting to drag the stubborn individuals into a new system. I wish the residents stop asking the same questions over and over, put into a different format and getting the same response, hoping for a different answer. That goes back to the old saying: you can satisfy some of the people some of the time but not satisfy all the people all of the time.

On that note, to those reading this at Imperial Plaza, the blogs will continue but not from Imperial Plaza. My wife and I will relocate to Virginia Beach, right down the road (interstate 64) to a new senior living facility on the beach. My wife and I will return for visits and activities and we will always remember the good times we had at Imperial Plaza. However, as I have said, the blogs will go on and the readers around the world will continue to wonder what I have to say next. I hope I can honor their wishes and make it entertaining. Change is inevitable, we also are changing.

Elder Abuse

I’m late getting this blog out for viewing because I just returned from another cruise. Senior living is fantastic if you take advantage of living after working. As I have said in other articles, there are many wonderful things to do when you hit the senior status, no matter your mobility or age. I will talk about senior traveling, especially mine, in other articles.

Before I get into my article I would like to welcome Somerby Senior Living to Imperial Plaza especially Maryanne. The Resident Council, with me as President, look forward to working with you to improve, as well as sustain, Imperial Plaza. Our home is your home.

Many times I have seen older people (seniors) with scars, bruises, broken bones and worst. There are events where seniors are severely injured or killed. Not all but most can be attributed to what is known as ‘senior abuse’. It happens all over, all the time, especially to those that can not fight back or is incapacitated. When the people that cause these abusive acts are caught, charged with the crime and jailed, someone always say “they didn’t mean it” or something similar.

As seniors get older and older some depend on another person for help in the daily routines. Many hire someone through an agency and, a lot of times, the person selected to help the elderly person is not vetted properly, if vetted at all. Another reason is the pay. These people don’t get the money they should have to do the best job possible. Low pay equal low work equal elder abuse. I really can’t put the entire fault there because others abuse also.

Family members have been known to do the same thing and, sometimes, worst than an agency. The people or person that received life, nourishment and love from the very person/people they are abusing, really don’t care. Sometimes the abuse is done because of frustration. Sometimes it’s done because they have a mental illness and don’t know any better or don’t realize what they are doing. Sometimes it is done because of stupidity, to see what happens if this or that is done. Most of it is done because of greed. There is an inheritance or insurance, etc. either way, no one can feel or know the suffering that the senior endures.

Over the years, as a police officer, I have come upon cases that have made me want to inflict my own justice upon the person that did the harm. It’s heart retching to see a person beaten, starved, robbed, mocked, made homeless, etc. How can people be so heartless, unfeeling, unremorseful, or just plain sick minded to do this to a mother, father, sibling, child or even a person you are tending to? They must not know God but would be the loudest, crying for help if the same thing would happen to them. They don’t realize, one day they will be in the same condition and will need the aide of others. Remember, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Retirement vs Politics

Coco Cay, Bahamas

My blog is suppose to be about retirement/seniors but it is mostly political simply because of the toxic atmosphere caused by the present political personnel. However, do not take the political atmospheric conditions as meaning it does not have anything to do with retirees or their tranquil lives. The retiree’s life is anything but tranquil knowing the storms from hell are approaching (new laws or discontinued laws) and hidden dangers are everywhere. Us retirees are being cloaked from the true facts of the turmoil that is before us. There is an attempt to shield us from hearing facts, truths and seeing the cause and effect of political actions and utterances.

Because of these actions (a lot of inaction) we have been hoodwinked into believing that we are better than before and will be even better yet. Don’t be fooled, like the slight of hand, what you see is not really what you see. Some of the endeavors of our present government have come to fruition and the most of it does not look good. I will only list a tiny amount of things that have happened which have an affect on us seniors/retirees.

First, patient dumping. Employees were video recorded wheeling a patient wearing a hospital gown, socks and nothing else, to a bus stop in front of a hospital on a cold, windy night. They left the poor woman there. Don’t ask why. This have been going on for a while but people now believe it is okay because of the new administration. Another is the fact we have heads of agencies that are not qualified or have a conflict of interest because they are either against the agency they head or have had opposing dealings before. One fact in point, a woman heads an agency but now is backing a company to do contract work which have a direct money deal with her. Our tax money at work, straight to her pocket. The rich get richer and us poor people get poorer. One last point is how we teach our children, grandchildren about the brashness of using vulgar language. How to respect other people, no matter where they are from or who they are. Not so for our President. He teach the usage of vulgar language and racist disrespect. So goes the President, so goes the USA. Don’t listen to grandpa or grandma, the President will show you and tell you the way to do it.

I am only saying one thing. Just because you are older now and think politics is a piece of the past, a thing you used to dabble in, think again. When your grand-kids tell you to ****. The President did it first. When you go to the hospital and your co-pay is more than you can afford and you get put out into the cold, the President said it is okay. When your roads and bridges or whatever is in disrepair but your tax bill keep getting higher, remember the President put that incompetent person in charge.

Politics is something we all should have a say about and keep saying it loudly. Because you are retired does not mean you give up on your rights or give up on life.

Lastly, I recently attended a commemoration of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. There were many non-residents in attendance in the Imperial Plaza’s auditorium which contrasted the poor turn out of the Imperial Plaza’s residents. There is a large Black community among the four buildings but, as usual, there was a very poor turnout of Black people for the program. The Black Mayor (Richmond) and Black Police Chief (Richmond) was in attendance and spoke to many people. Many Army personnel from Fort Lee were there and that reminded me that many people don’t realize a Black History fact. Afro-Americans have participated in every war and/or conflict there ever was in and for the USA including The Revolutionary War and both sides of The Civil War.

I have been getting a lot of hits and followers on this blog but, in case you don’t know, I have another blog at www.faithingodministries.net Hope you will also read and enjoy that blog. Let me know.

End Of Year

To those that I have missed, hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours. Also, let me not forget, hope you had a safe and uneventful Black Friday. Now for the Small Business Day (Saturday) and E-Monday. Mine was good with just a small event to help end the year.

Thanksgiving night, wee hours of Friday morning, I had to go to the emergency room for a kidney stone. If you have ever suffered through one, try to prevent it. The pain is indescribable. This is my second one and I hope I never have to go through this again. The intravenous pain medication is righteous. I see why people can become hooked, however, no worry about me, I didn’t take much. That was Friday and now I am fine, no pain at all, the stone is gone. Must have passed it sometime during that day but I didn’t see it.

Early next Friday morning my wife and I will be boarding a train to go to New Jersey for boarding a ship for another cruise. Going back to the islands, hopefully most of them are back in business. For those that are not back in business or are doing a little business, we will see first hand the damage from the last hurricane. Either way, the trip is worth it and we are eagerly awaiting the date. I am glad I had the kidney stone attack this weekend instead of next weekend.

When I get back I will have to hit the ground running. As a new member of the Resident Council, here at Imperial Plaza, I foresee a busy year, we have a great new membership. I also have a January deadline for another story for the Mighty Pen Project (there’s a web page and it’s on Facebook) as well as finding a place to publish the two stories I have ready to go. I am also working on another but that is almost at the halfway mark. Then there is the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Inc. (web page and Facebook also) of which the scholarship committee have a deadline for submitting names (I am part of the committee). It’ll be a very busy year.

With Christmas coming up I am sorry I will miss putting out the next faithingodministries.net blog and the next tega227.com blog (this one). While I am away for two weeks, my mind won’t be on blogs or anything that have nothing to do with my travels. When we get back I will have to put myself on a ridged schedule and stick to it. This year procrastination have been my close friend, I will have to lose it at sea and leave it there. I have let retirement get the best of me, I have to snap out of it.

Next year I will do my best when it come to getting things done, however, I need a favor from all of you. I need followers, shares, likes and comments. I’ll try to do my part and I really need all of you to do your part as well, like passing on my blogs and having your friends do the same. Until next time. Take care and I’ll see you all in two weeks with a few pictures.

Coco Cay, Bahamas