Better together. June 2014, New York.
Today is the United Nations’ International Day for Older Persons. I’m celebrating by writing about dementia and community-promoting arts programs for people living with it, like Arthur. (Yep, living with it, not suffering from it.)
There is a global media campaign called 100 Days of Happy Older People, encouraging people to post photos of happy older people. It’s a step, but it feels a bit ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ I think we look pretty happy together, don’t you?
Being There to Say the Final Goodbye -
This month’s AARP post was a tough one, but it felt like time. September marked two years since Pop Pop’s passing, and three years since Dibi’s. On their yahrzeits, I lit a jasmine votive I found in a Buddhist shop near campus, and reread We Remember Them. I do remember them, all the time, especially as I travel, which was one of the greatest loves they shared. Two years ago, I was with Pop Pop as he died. Today, I am with him as I live. I’m thankful for both.
The ultimate pad thai. August 2014, Cha-am.
Fon’s lovely mother and grandmother prepare us a beach-side feast. More about this special day in my August AARP post.
Blessings Near and Far: A Lesson in Honoring Elders -
I’ve been in Thailand less than three weeks, so it’s safe to say I don’t know much. But as my Turkish friend Evrim said recently via email, “first impression gives you the clue.” My August AARP post is about Mother’s Day here, just a few days into our adventure. Fon, a dear friend and classmate of mine, invited us to go to the beach — and could we stop to worship her great grandmother first? A clue, indeed, and a good one.
A grand new view. August 2014, Bangkok.
After months of talking about it and planning for it and talking about planning for it, we are finally here in Thailand.
Today is my first day of classes, but this past week and a half has been a crash course in all things Thai. We’ve fumbled our way through orders of noodles and duck, dumplings and dough balls, khao neow (sticky rice) and moo ping (grilled pork) and cha nom (milk tea). We’ve tasted durian cracked open at the beach, and longan purchased out of a pickup. We’ve ridden in boats and Skytrains and neon pink taxis with drivers who use highway lanes like suggestions. We’ve bowed before Buddha, bent every which way for a massage, and watched Muay Thai in the lobby with our 70-something landlord.
Minus a touch of food poisoning — a rite of passage? — life is good. And the year is just beginning.