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posticon Editorial- Don't Get Old

Opinions | Friday, December 15, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Editorial

When you stand in line in Heaven waiting to be sign the contract to be assigned a life to be born to, there are a lot of items in the small print.  I assume there are, because who actually reads the small print?  Sure they regale you with visions of happy childhood, playing on swings, going to school, being embraced in the bosom of a loving family.  They tell you about the joys of growing up, finding your life partner, perhaps raising your own children.  They titillate you with the promise of going to see Star Wars and Harry Potter, the Beatles and Katy Perry and George Strait, the Boston Pops, football, and watching Downton Abbey and The Big Bang Theory and American Idol on television.  They tease you with the absolute certainty of ice cream and pizza and beer.  Or sherry if that is more to your taste.

Stressing the challenges of getting old?  Not so much.  Didn't read the small print.  Never saw it coming.  We have been caring for a family member with escalating dementia since July, and it has not only been unexpectedly more challenging than I could ever have dreamed, but also heartbreaking as we watch a person we know and love disintegrate.  Worse, I have watched this person know she is losing herself and seeing her abject fear as she fades away.

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posticon Thoughts - Feeling Alone at Christmas

Opinions | Friday, December 15, 2017 | By Casey Stevens Print
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Caseythoughts I'm sure you have heard (and probably also expressed) the popular lament that the Christmas season seems to begin the week after (or even before?) Halloween. I'm pretty sure that a local/national drug store chain was beginning to display Christmas candy and Martha Stewart-esque holiday trimmings around October 25th or so this year. When I asked a clerk how she felt about the ever-earlier displays and retail 'push', she rolled her eyes, hands uplifted and could only say "Crazy, isn't it?"

It's superficial, sure, and I've usually been able to shrug it off as the rampant display of consumerism and 'Get it now' that in reality manifests itself constantly no matter the season, but as I get older it does poke my sense of silliness. Considering the feelings of holiday expectations, frequently flummoxed, and enduring emotions that can be described as holiday disappointments (the two coexist in most of us since childhood, wouldn't you admit?) I am perhaps more attuned to something going on around me that I need to observe and listen to. And share.

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