When I look back and try to think about all the doors that have opened and closed in my life, I am amazed. Yet, on the other hand, when I think of all the doors I didn't open or close, I am annoyed with myself.
There were many girls my age in my neighborhood, yet I associated with a group of eight who became close for many years. Why did I open the door to them and not the others? We had fun sharing secrets, gossip, going to parties, dances and talking about boys. Even though there were minor differences and disagreements, we basically got along well, and the door didn't start to close until we all married and moved to different areas. Proximity is a major ingredient to friendship.
Marriage opens another door. One night, I went to a new place with a friend, and there he was, the boy I fell in love with, married and lived happily with for 42 years. Unfortunately, one morning when I woke up, he had expired during the night. I was devastated and did not know how I was going to go on with my life. But from discussions we had had when he was alive, I knew he wanted me to continue to open new doors and enjoy whatever time I had left. This gave me strength.
That is exactly what I did. There were schools with interesting courses to take, organizations to join and new friends to meet.
As I go from one stage of life to another, I find attitude to be the most important ingredient in shaping a rewarding and interesting life. When I am positive and make serious attempts to open a new door, most times the result is pleasant and satisfying. When it is not, I look on it as a losing Lotto ticket. I have many of those. Yet, I still purchase Lotto tickets every once in a while. Just as, "You gotta be in it to win it," you gotta open the door to see what's on the other side. If you don't, you never have to deal with disappointment, but then you also will never know the wonderful surprise of something good happening in your life.
The risk is worth it.
-- Harriet Morgenstern, Hewlett
Get the picture?
I have a huge amount of unfinished business. Family photographs — probably hundreds that I have managed to save and not attend to.
I'm the oldest of 12 children and have seven children of my own. My children are now adults, and I've tried every year for the past six years to make a dent. I actually have finally gotten the photos in order by year. That took me two years. I must admit that many photos were in original envelopes after being developed, stacked in brown grocery bags.
Next, I started sorting them for each child of mine. I want to make them each an album of photos of themselves, their siblings and pictures of my husband and myself. I'm not sure if I just feel too overwhelmed by the task or if looking at 44 years of pictures is just too emotional. I promise myself every summer, I'm going to tackle the job and get it done this winter.
To make matters worse, two years ago I thought it might be a good idea not only to make seven albums, but to include a narrative of my life with my husband and my children. That was a big mistake. Between reflecting on my life as well as all these darling pictures (and all the memories of each child's first smile, step, birthday and first day at school, etc.) turned me into an emotional sob.
Now, my progress has once again come to a standstill. Perhaps another reader has some pointers or insight that would help me clear my own path. I know I need help.
As my husband pointed out to me after reading this, I am a professional organizer for many years for many people. It is very obvious that I am now walking in my clients' shoes.
--Jean Rechner, Valley Stream
iLove my game apps
I am 66 years old, recently retired and addicted to game apps, especially Words With Friends. I also play another version, Scrabble Free (which wasn't, by the way). I play with many friends, and when they don't respond quick enough, I play with "random" players! I play watching TV, riding in a car (as a passenger, of course!) and, yes, waiting for all appointments. My husband has the patience of a saint!
However, as everyone knows, this keeps the brain active, and, on the more educational side, I am also learning better Italian, cooking techniques and I also have an app, "iTunes U," that I use to listen to lectures / conferences in law and medicine from Stanford and Cambridge universities.
So a big "thank you" to all those techies who created the apps for all to enjoy, learn and perhaps give a life line to.
--Mary Tufano, Islip
Your move, Mom
In this busy world of young mothers with little time to chat or visit between work, baseball and dance lessons, school pickups and drop-offs, and play dates, the one reliable way I can communicate regularly without breathless hurriedness with my daughter is Words With Friends.
When I see the Words With Friends "your move" signal on my iPhone, my eyes light up and I feel a rush knowing that my daughter made the time to "play" with me. She usually beats me, but who cares? In the end, she agrees that we are both winners!
--Kaye Pine, Melville