Some times during my youth I would stop and wonder what I would be doing in the year 2000. In the 1960’s just saying “2000” made it so futuristic. Would I still be working, would I be married, where would I be living and would I be rich, poor or just middle-class? All those questions became answered all too fast, in my opinion. With everything in my past now water under the bridge and memories drowning in that same water, I’ve determined that I did okay considering all of the circumstances.
I turned 65 today and it’s hard to believe that I’ve at least survived this far. My rebellious teens, my independent twenties and thirties have shaped my way of thinking about politics, marriage, family, health and wealth. I’ve learned a lot of lessons, survived a few scrapes and learned more about the medical field than I ever cared to. Being born with a life long kidney disease has also shaped the way I conducted myself. I ignored my medical problems for as long as I could in my twenties and thirties and to this day have no idea how I got away with it.
The memory of my father explaining that I wasn’t expected to live a long life is still a complete picture in my mind – sitting at our dining table in the apartment Claudia and I shared on Geneva Street, along with Dad and his Insurance Boss. That’s one moment a young woman really doesn’t forget – her life may be cut short! He was trying to sell life insurance at the time and I was his guinea pig to see how it would go. I’m glad I was denied – the premiums would have been an expense I didn’t need on secretarial pay. But that thought always resonated in my head and stayed with me right up to the day I was told I would qualify for a kidney transplant. Future scientific and medical developments in life were on my side but I’m sad to say my father and mother died before such good news was available.
I have no regrets. There’s only one thing I would have done differently, but at the time I was a complete fool influenced by surroundings that were a little too enticing. Lesson learned so Que Sera Sera!! As for the rest of my life I truly believe that some God up there (and I’m a huge non-believer) was looking out for me and knew exactly how to direct my life. I went to a wedding and met the man of my dreams, had a kidney transplant, retired from work and am now enjoying a life I had longed for all during my youth. I just wish my bloody energy level was still the same!!!!
I’ve also learned today, this week is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles stepping onto American soil. Another milestone in my life. Another one of those events where I remember what I was doing and where I was when that humongous event occurred. The Ed Sullivan Show on TV, my beloved Mother and sister, Claudia, sitting on the sofa behind me laughing and taunting as I struggled trying to get as close as I could to the television screen in order to hear every word and every note that The Beatles sung. The Apollo landing, the Kennedy assassination, 9/11 and The Beatles first American appearance on Ed Sullivan – events that happened during my teenage years through to adulthood. Events that also had a huge impact on my emotional welfare and way of thinking.
Turning 65 isn’t really a momentous occasion to me personally except that I’m now considered a pensioner. One good thing coming from all of this – a monthly pension cheque!! The Government is going to pay me for being old. How kind of them and I’ll take it willingly.