Sade, Grandma & Sean
Huntington Gardens, 2001
By Jo Cooper
     I know you aren't supposed to call it "handicapped," it's "physically challenged" now, but personally when I can't stand up for more than thirty seconds without grabbing my walker, and I need someone to push my wheelchair when I go shopping, I feel handicapped!
     Of course there are a few who perform impossible feats that prove how faith, physical endurance, and determination inspire the rest of us. Such as the minister who has no arms and legs but travels worldwide speaking to thousands of packed churches, The one hundred and eleven year old in Leisure World who credits her longevity to her daily jaunts on her three wheeled bike. The ninety-year old who manages her own house and a schedule that would make a CEO cringe, and the eighty year old who drives better than most two year olds, and etc.
     Then there are those of us who are frustrated because we can't physically do what we used to do, and spend most of the time in our favorite chair watching TV.
     Today, get up off your duff! Think positive and remember to be thankful. You could be homeless or living in Iraq.
     Get up every thirty minutes. If you can push your walker around the house for a few minutes, give yourself a pat on the arm, or a treat, (if you aren't over weight). None of those people who I mentioned as being more than eighty years of age were fat.
     I loved to eat. I was overweight for thirty years. I tried every diet and only lost 30 lbs when I got too sick to make it to the kitchen. Now, I realize that Jackie Onasis was right; it's all about small portions. She said that's how she could stay thin and still attend all those gala dinners. It's important that we eat well balanced meals, but also that we eat only small portions of the foods we like best.
     If you need additional help around the house, write or phone the Career Center at your local college. I offered a part time job as caregiver for 2 hours a day, three days a week for above minimum wage, and was bombarded with phone calls the next day. I interviewed three of them who proved to be good and I chose the one I liked.
     My good idea for this month is a hand warmer. Put cup rice in a wool sock, tie it securely in a knot, and heat in the microwave for about a minute. Enjoy the pleasure of warm hands for an hour or so and then play with it like you would worry beads to help curb your frustration.
     Next month, I'll tell you where to phone to speak to a real person, not a computer .
The End

by Ralph Cooper, 10-11-07
     Jo planned to offer this article as an example for a proposed series of monthly columns to a newspaper or magazine. I think it speaks volumes about her unquenchable spirit and active imagination.

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