Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ~Unknown
My brother and I were having a discussion the other day and he says to me “well Steph, at your age you’ve already lived two-thirds of your life.” At first I thought “that’s depressing” but I knew what he was saying is true and it’s abundantly clear to me that growing older really is a gift.
When I was in 12th grade our class lost one of our classmates through a tragic accident that left him in a coma. After graduation another classmate passed away from a terminal illness.
Throughout the years it doesn’t get any easier as friends, family and loved ones breathe their last breath and leave us behind. I remember when my best friend, Richard, who suffered a life-threatening stroke, then died 6 years later from a sudden massive heart attack sent me into one of the worst depression episodes of my life. Understandably I was inconsolable when I received word of his death but what he did during the years after his stroke was astonishing and it was remembering those precious moments of his life that got me through his death.
After Richard’s disabling stroke he spent four weeks in rehabilitation where his number one priority was to regain his ability to walk again. With the help of physical, occupational and speech therapists he was released to outpatient care for several months then subsequently went on to finish his Master’s Degree in counseling education.
The road to Richard’s recovery was difficult and he faced many obstacles but he was so focused on appreciating his “second chance” at life he was unstoppable. His job as a residential recruitment and development manager at Holy Family Institute an organization who at the time catered to the needs of at-risk youth among other programs was not without stress. But Richard had such an easy-going laid back personality that he loved his line of work and remained at the same employer for over 25 years.
It’s Richard to whom I’m thankful for my involvement in community activities as he recruited me for my first board position at our local community center. For Richard success wasn’t found in money, power, status, achievement or recognition. No, for him success was discovered in truth, decency, humility, service and integrity.
I am forever grateful for the time I had Richard in my life because he left such an indelible impression on me that eleven years after his death I can still recall sweet memories as if it were yesterday. Growing older to me is a reminder to not waste a moment of life on trivial matters but to focus on those intangibles that can hopefully make me a better person.
When I started this blog I knew that I would write at least one post dedicated to Richard because he was one of the most influential people in my life. He was my soul mate and I loved him unquestionably.
So when I was thinking about Thrifty Thursday I felt this would be the most logical place to talk about Richard for he was one of the thriftiest and funniest people I ever known. To give you an idea of some of his odd ways following are a list of a few things he was known for.
- He still had the original stereo with turntable (I seriously think it could have qualified as an antique) from high school days because he couldn’t justify buying a new one. Amazingly it still worked!
- He bargained for everything – the “new” television he bought was the display model and the only reason he bought the larger flat screen was that his old-school TV died.
- He would buy mass amounts of non-perishable supplies for “just in case” moments. I never found out what just in case meant but if there were ever a disaster he had plenty of light bulbs, deodorant, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and vitamins to name a few.
- Being the consummate bachelor, on a weekly basis he frequented his favorite Chinese restaurant and would keep the unopened fortune cookies until he amassed so many he could have went into the fortune cookies selling business.
- He kept all his clothes from high school/college days (this includes bell bottoms, crazy patterned shirts and platform shoes) because they may come back in style.
- At the time I met Richard neither him nor his roommate had ever defrosted their refrigerator (it had been years) this was before frost-free. I volunteered to take on the monumental task of removing ice that was so jam-packed I couldn’t insert a small saucepan of boiling water to speed up the process.
- He took piggy banks to a whole new level with a collection of every denomination of coins in these large jugs and he NEVER touched them. Nope, uh uh, he had a special container filled with only quarters for which to do his laundry.
Yeah, Richard had his little quirks but he was one of the nicest people anyone would be glad to call their friend and I still miss him. Memories of Richard are never far from me and especially when spring rolls around I remember how much he enjoyed this time of year.
We finally had some very lovely weather on Monday of this week. The thermometer read low to mid 70s but it felt much warmer to everyone’s delight.
Now that I’m beginning to see results from eating well and exercising I kinda wish I didn’t make a pledge to not buy any new clothing because I feel I’m in need of a wardrobe fix. I want a couple of new, lighter, more colorful pieces just to celebrate spring renewal but since I have to move I can’t justify buying anything. But what I can do is monitor shop. I found 3 cute tops on sale at Macy’s and if I weren’t on a spending freeze I would at least consider these.
A short-sleeved surplice neckline slimming faux wrap design at front beautifully defines Charter Club’s printed top, featuring button details at the side. Wet Grass (light green colored), $31.99 www1.macys.com
There’s beauty in the asymmetry of ECI’s short-sleeved contrast striped top! A perfect partner for jeans, Capris and summer skirts, too. Black/White rayon/spandex, asymmetrical neckline, ruching and colorblock at side, fitted silhouette, hits at hip $19.99 www1.macys.com
Designed with a pretty draped body and edgy hardware accent, Alfani’s cap-sleeve top is anything but basic. Keep it chic with sleek slacks for the office. Milano Pink polyester/spandex, crew neckline, pullover style, ruched at side with hardware embellishment, fitted, asymmetrical hem is longer at side, hits at low hip at front. $35.99 www1.macys.com
By the way if you’re interested Macy’s is currently running a 5-Day sale that ends on April 6 www.macys.com.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” ~Samuel Ullman