Friday, December 4, 2015


Because of required minimum withdrawals from my IRA accounts now that I have passed the 70 1/2 years old mark, my Social Security net monthly benefit will be reduced in 2016. The withdrawals, on which I pay taxes, have pushed my income into the high earners' category. My vision (never great) is getting worse, especially when I am driving in a downpour at night with oncoming headlights in my eyes. When I look in the mirror, I see the frown lines, wrinkles and sagging skin that makes me look more like my mother. 

At this point, I will gladly accept these indignities of growing older. I passed up the opportunity to die young when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 41. I'm okay with the trade-offs. 

Impassive or overwrought, they wait for news from the OR
where smooth scalpels excise malignant growths.
They relay updates to remote family members and shut out
slow-moving time with laptops and an occasional magazine.
I witness their vigils with empathy one step removed.

It was my parents who stood vigil 30 years ago,
waiting fearfully for news of me under the knife.
Edith and George, president and vice president of my fan club,
must have clung together as never before,
praying they would not have to bury their first-born child.

Their prayers were answered. I am here to bear witness to their undying love.

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