Friday, January 28, 2011

To Sadie, With Love 12/22/1910-1/27/2011

My Mom died yesterday at the age of 100+. It needed to happen as she needed to move on. She remained strong for 98+ years and that is a gift and a blessing.The following article was written in 1980 for a column I wrote in the Broward Jewish Journal called Mindly Matters....the same title as this blog.

All that I wrote remained true all of these years. There will be a memorial website www.sadiethelady.me online on Monday.

On Tuesday, Feb 1, my regular blogs will begin again.

Bye For Now,
Bill
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Sadie is a lady I have known for more than half of her, almost seventy years. When I first met her I held her in awe. She seemed so all-knowing and all powerful. Omnipotent powers flowed from her fingers, while pearls of wisdom poured from her mouth like rain-drops. As I got to know Sadie better, I realized she was just a person with problems of her own. I was able to see that her knowledge was sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect, although her intentions were always honorable. Sadie’s widowhood at 49 hit her hard and left a void that I could never fill. I vacillated between caring and running – trying to find my own self and my own life. A subsequent marriage matched her with a person incapable of giving or receiving pleasure and Sadie’s life plunged to its lowest ebb. I ran even further so as not to have to see the pain. Years later, a shell of her original self, she fled from this man and her native city. But Sadie had courage and patience and had learned many lessons from her journey:

• That the horror of loneliness isn’t as terrible as the horrors of a misguided mate.

• That time is a precious commodity that must be used to full advantage to be worth anything.

• That freedom is a powerful privilege when properly applied in the direction of growth and self-development.

• That life is a continuous flow of discontinuous events and one must remain flexible enough to survive the changes..

• That through giving oneself to others in need one can find oneself and satisfy one’s needs.

• That there is room within well-established frameworks to incorporate new ideas without letting go of the frameworks.

Tired, worn, fragile, but determined, Sadie set out to apply what she had learned. She took classes, found a part-time job, reconnected with her family, added new friends and dropped ones that were toxic. She rested, read and relaxed gaining strength from the peacefulness of the water and warmth of the sun. Over the past few years she returned to life with more vision and vigor than she had ever had. In her retirement Sadie became activated. She is vibrantly alive today and serves as a powerful example of what people can do if they have the will to do it. Sadie stands as a model to all retirees for whom change, growth and physical and emotional health are attainable and sustainable if they are willing to fight for them.

If you ever meet Sadie, she’ll be the first to tell you what she’s accomplished by holding firmly to a positive attitude and moving only in a forward direction. Her zeal and enthusiasm are contagious and I really hope you do meet her. You see, Sadie’s not just a lady, she’s my young “old lady” of whom I am quite proud.