Rose's Saturday Page
Facing our own mortality
I turned 65 on October 7, and this is one of
life's milestones where I truly am pinching myself to make sure of it's reality.
Although I've long since stopped counting every new gray hair and wrinkle and
know that one's birth certificate and camera don't lie, when I say the number
65, it's hard to believe, much less admit that I'm talking about myself. On most
days, I feel two decades younger than my "true" age. I do my own yard work, housework
and can physically keep up with people half my age when it comes to general fitness,
and a fast paced six-mile walk on the Ghost Town Trail hardly breaks a sweat.
Health-wise, I am a very lucky person. I'm not cursed with any of the serious
ailments like diabetes, and heart disease that plague some of my senior and not-so-senior
friends and acquaintances.
I've never had a heart attack,
open-heart surgery, a stroke, or cancer of any type. I take only two daily prescription
medications, of which the most important is a hormone replacement therapy tablet
that prevents me from growing a beard and turning into the village shrew when
the full moon rolls around. Actually, I've taken estrogen made from the urine
of pregnant horses for so long; when someone asks my age, occasionally, I answer
by stomping my foot on the ground the necessary number of times. It usually gets
a laugh and laughter is good medicine. Just ask anyone who laughs often, and they'll
Though not an overly religious person, I do attend
church on a fairly regular basis...finding solace and peace in not only the Roman
Church when I'm "homesick," on rare occasions the Eastern Orthodox church, but
most often these days in Nanty Glo's First Baptist, to appease my Protestant hubby.
Life is good and I've no reason to gripe, right? Wrong. I gripe because as my
hubby says, soon, I'll be living on borrowed time. I'm griping because my God-given
clock is running out and life is just too interesting and too darn much fun to
think about dying and leaving it all behind.
or later we all must come face to face with our own mortality, a fact that once
again hit home when last weekend the hubby and I made the sad journey to Ohio
to attend the funeral of a dear friend whose earthly clock had run out. My fun-loving,
easy-to-laugh friend, and Nanty Glo native Jean (Fontana) Cronauer, who at the
last minute graciously said, "I'd be delighted," when I asked her to be the matron
of honor at my wedding in 1985. The feisty little Italian had a dislike for spaghetti,
but always made sure spaghetti and meatballs were on the menu when a weekend at
the Cronauer home was in order. In declining health for the past several years,
Jean passed away last week, leaving behind her hubby and sweetheart of many years,
four children, their spouses, eight grandchildren; seven sisters, and a multitude
of nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors, and former co-workers.
So loved was this gentle, dark-haired, 80-lb. woman, the nurses at the care facility
where she spent the last three years of her life stayed without pay hours after
their regular shift was over...and on several days to attend to the needs of her
and her family as she lingered near death.
At her funeral
mass at St. Columbkille Roman Catholic Church in Parma, Ohio, her youngest son
Joe gave a beautiful eulogy that only a son could give. A eulogy where we laughed
as well as cried. A eulogy where one of the most heartwarming...and truthful things
was at the end of his talk when he said, "Heaven just got better."
Reap the Harvest
Oh the splendor of it all.
To see them
grow so straight and tall!
Like plants that thrive in the richest soil,
childrenGod gave us to love and spoil.
Our love brought
them into being...
To shelter, care for, and enjoy;
To mold their minds
and teach them honor,
To respect and build, but not destroy.
little children that grew so tall,
have taught me so much after all...
fame and fortune are not for me,
but the love they share so generously,
my heart with the greatest of pride
That I gave them birth; their chance to
So let them go forth, and they too will learn
what accomplishments they can earn,
By having children of their own,
reap the harvest of the seeds they've sown.
Several years ago, I did a "Where Are They Now" profile
of my friend Jean Cronauer, I would like to share it with you again.
grandsons and son did a piano tribute to their gradmother/mother. Please go to
GloTube to watch excerpts of it.