Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dear Anne Lamott

 Dear Anne,
     Hi there from a devoted fan of you and your writing.  This is the obnoxious woman with the camera in the front row when you spoke in Houston.  If you will come back, I promise I will leave my camera at home...no, I can't do that but I will at least learn how to to turn off the flash and again I apologize for not knowing how before and being so annoying.
     Well, here's the deal...I would so love for you to write some more about loss.  I'm 78 years old and beginning to think that is just about all being old is about and it is just damn painful.  That is, it is painful if you give a shit about anything or anyone and I do and refuse to give up caring.  It is the caring that keeps me afloat as I have always believed that God's purpose for all of us is for us to live into our potential and support others in doing the same.  But in that caring comes the potential for loss and it is accelerated by aging.
      And it is constant when you live in a retirement community.  The good news is that while one is losing one's quick step, hearing, and one's vision dims, so are one's neighbors.  But along with that is other physical and mental problems that are more serious.  Eventually a friend or neighbor can no longer live independently and leaves.  An ambulance drives up on a regular basis...one day three were around.  The constant loss makes one hesitant to invest deeply in friends which is totally against my nature and another loss in a way.
     Add in one's own physical losses and the whole scene is rather painful and depressing.  No wonder so many elderly are on anti-depressants.  Surely there is a better answer.  Yes, I constantly remind myself of all the things I am grateful for...I'm not 78 in Katmandu picking through the pieces of my home to hold on to some semblance of the life I had before the quake....I am not living in a refugee tent outside of Yemen...I am not in California wondering if I will ever be able to water my grass.  I have so much to be grateful for but loss is always barking at my door.  I'm learning to deal with it and have found some other residents who are experiencing the same but it ain't easy.
    The greatest cure of course is to get off the Isle of the Blue Hairs occasionally.  The weekend in Colorado over Mother's Day without He-Who and being pampered by my niece and her partner were a huge spiritual lift for which I am so grateful to have them in my life.  And some retail therapy at the greatest shoe store in the country...Brown's Shoes in Ft. Collins...was once again wonderful.  I could become a shoeaholic if I lived there.  Such fun and funky shoes in narrow sizes!  And it snowed!
     Sunday we left the Isle and headed north to our daughter's in Conroe in their new apartment for a great lunch and a movie and a game of a new kind of Monopoly which was fun!
     This week I will drive us to San Antonio to go to a granddaughter's concert and hang out on the edge of the hill country and breathe deep.  I will be grateful that I can still drive and have such a great family.
      But dear Anne with such great wisdom and spiritual depth I would love to hear more from you about loss so if you don't have too much on your plate already, give it some thought.  I'm patient, no hurry.

With much admiration and appreciation,


  1. Kay no words to express the admiration I feel for you on so many levels.

    Darla McB

  2. Glad to hear that your time away has been restorative.