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Wisdom of the Aged

Last night I had a long phone call with my dear friend Gloria, who is possibly my favorite person on the planet. Just hearing her voice on the other end of the line enhances my mood a hundredfold. She is upbeat, funny and always sees the bright side of things. I've known her my whole life, as she was my mother's best friend from the time the two of them were teenagers. Since my mother died at age 62, Gloria has been the only mother I've had for the past several decades. She is 97.

Gloria lives in a charmingly decorated two-bedroom condo in a Phoenix retirement community and enjoys a full and active life. She drives herself to the gym early most mornings, "before it gets too hot," and plays Bingo and card games with friends several times a week. She also enjoys dining out with her sister and brother-in-law, both in their nineties, and relaxes most weekends with her daughter and son-in-law who live nearby.

At the urging of her son, a 70-something film writer in LA who looks like he's in his fifties, Gloria became a vegetarian about 15 years ago. She attributes her longevity and extremely good health to what she eats and more likely to what she doesn't eat. I've always been a skeptic, but since several cardiologists have recommended I switch to a vegetarian diet following my heart attack seven weeks ago, I'm moving, slowly but surely, in that direction.

I asked Gloria what she knew about dentures, since a friend of mine with a boatload of dental issues is considering that option. (I was pretty sure Gloria still had her original teeth, but you never know.) She replied that she did not have dentures but would certainly consider looking into the possibility "sometime down the road."

At 97 she still sees a long road ahead (involving possible new teeth) whereas I, at 71, see only the rest stops. So, with the hope that becoming a vegetarian will make me not only healthier but also more optimistic, I'm heightening my resolve. And best of all, I won't have to mess with a dead turkey this Thanksgiving. (That always freaked me out.)

This post first appeared on The Daily Droid, please read the originial post: here

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Wisdom of the Aged


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