Sorry to Say: “Good Bye Selina.”

It was a Sunday morning when a doorbell rang to Marcel’s home and it was Marcel’s wife who opened the door. At the door, it was Lisa and Robert. They never visited Marcels before at their place. So, Marcels were surprised. They invited Lisa and Robert in and had them sit comfortably in the living room. Lisa and Robert realized that Marcels were surprised.

Lisa is the one who said in a low voice: “We are going to see Sofia, would you two like to come along with us?”

Marcel said, looking towards his wife for instant approval: “Sure, what’s wrong?”

Robert answered, without looking towards his wife (Lisa started crying): “Just heard from David that Selina passed away. Selina’s sudden death was due to falling downhill while walking in a village. It was an instant death. Bobby was with her.” They did not know anything more.

“We have to tell that to Sofia. Find out the details later,” said Marcel’s wife.

“Do not know how to tell her,” said Lisa.

“Yes, it is a big issue.” Marcel sat down in a chair and said we need to figure this out. Sofia won’t be able to take it. It’s hard for Marcel’s too.

While all four were thinking and their brains were going numb, Marcel’s wife volunteered to tell Sofia. All were a bit relieved. Marcel’s wife suggested that one of them call Sofia and meet them at a nearby children’s park and give a reason, like, Marcel wants to talk to Sofia—nothing more. She suggested that Robert should make the call just in case Lisa started crying over the phone. Robert agreed. The plan worked, and Sofia did show up.

All of them met at a children’s park that same afternoon. Sofia was surprised to see all of them there and noticed their mood from their faces.

Before any conversion started, Marcel’s wife said, just like a command: “Sofia, sit down beside me.” And then, she held her hand and delivered these words: “Sofia your mama’s soul is in heaven. May God be with her.”

Sofia was as calm as a stone. Her tear drops were slowly sliding down the chin like little water fountains on a mountain, sliding down slowly. Marcel knew Sofia is a strong woman. So is Marcel’s wife. They hugged, and all of us just stood there watching.

Later that day, Marcel learned from Robert that Amina, David, Nadia, and Reza already took a flight to Morocco on Sunday early in the morning. Sofia, Lisa, and Robert will fly tomorrow morning. Marcel’s wife and Marcel do not travel at all. Marcel, he was sad.

It was Selina’s wish that she should lay to rest near a Saffron field. So, the family made the arrangements accordingly.

In a week, Marcel met Sofia, Lisa, and Robert. They were back from Morocco. Everything went well as planned. The last word that Selina spoke was “Sofi,”

A month later, Marcel heard that Sofia made a new commitment to spend the rest of her life as a caregiver. She decided to work in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Dementia: A Public Health Priority:

November is our National Alzheimer’s Disease Month.

First, what is Alzheimer’s disease? Dr. Alois Alzheimer was the first to describe this condition as a “peculiar disease” and hence the name Alzheimer was given. It affects the brain of a person, and as it progresses, the proteins in the brain of the individual begin to accumulate and form tangles. The tangles disrupt the connection of two nerve cells and die causing the brain tissue is damaged. When this happens, one will find it difficult to learn something new. At the early stage, it will attack the part of the brain which is called hippocampus. The primary role of the hippocampus is in remembering activities that happen in our daily lives. Now when it gets damaged, we tend to forget things. At the early stages, one won’t have loss of memory that happens a long time ago.

My suggestion would be to get involved this month and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. It was President Ronald Reagan who designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s. The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

Humanity Matters

It matters little how many diseases I have in medically advanced country, my quality of life is important to me. My time passed long time ago. But I have stories to tell of new times, in case you haven’t figured that out yet. One has to live through old age to understand fully what it has to offer for the end part of life. Maybe by stroke, by Dementia or whatever cause, we stand at risk of losing everything gained over lifetime. In our time, everything is challenging. It is challenging to do things, like, to walk, to eat, to dress, to bath or whatever we need to do live our daily lives. Every time we accomplish this by ourselves, we feel happy and feel satisfied. To enjoy it again and again, we have something to look forward to tomorrow; where tomorrow not sure. We must create and make plans something to look forward.

Humanity matters. Taking care of people with Old Age Memory Loss is a humanity issue to me. Dr. Selina’s life-long research work was to answer the questions: “Can we stop or slow ‘old age memory loss’? Can saffron in our daily diet or as a medicine help?”

So, I write.

Five Generations Living Under one Roof

 

A Story of a Happy Family:

A conversation took place between family members from two of the five generations that lived under one roof Tom, a three-year-old boy, and his mother Carol, a 28-year-old physician.

Tom looked at his four-month-old sister who was naked and getting her diaper changed. “What’s that?” he asked his mom, pointing at his sister’s private part.

Carol just answered, “She is a girl.”

“Do all girls have that?” Tom asked.

“Yes.”

Tom asked his mother, “Are you a girl?”

Carol was rushing to go to work and left without answering. Tom’s Grandma Bella and his Grandfather David had already left earlier in the day to take care of their business, which was a short walk from home. Tom’s Great Grandma Adia stayed in the house to babysit the two kids and to look after the kids’ Great-Great Grandma Selina. Selina was eighty-six years old and had mild Alzheimer’s disease. Tom’s Great-Great Grandpa had passed away a few years ago.

Tom, since he had only been in this world for three years, did not yet understand the facts of life. He was determined to understand the world. Although he was very smart, he did not ask anybody else in the house his questions. He waited for his mother.

At dinner that night, all the members in the house were at one table. Carol seemed somber and was mentally getting ready for Tom and his questions. She knew Tom very well.

Tom finally asked his mom, “Are you a girl?”

Before she could open her mouth, her mother Bella answered.

“Of course, she is a girl. She is my girl. Why do you ask?”

Tom was not intimidated at all and turned toward Bella to ask her the same question: “Are you a girl? Who is my girl?”

They all looked at each other. Tom wanted an answer.

Surprisingly, Selina spoke out first and said, “Tom, I am your girl. I don’t remember anything, Tom, and I don’t know anything. I wish I could answer you more.”

Everyone got up from their chairs, went to Selina, and kissed her. They were all happy.

What a happy family together five generations under one roof. Lucky for

Selfna that her Great Granddaughter is a physician and Selina lives with her.

Everybody loved
Selina.

Moments of Truth

Where am I going with my life? What would it be like to know that I had wasted my time in this world and find out it is too late to do anything about it. I must be self-conscious and be truthful to my conscious. That’s all I can do and pray to God for Mercy.

In my daily Salah (Muslim prayer), every time I finish a prayer, I Salaam once to the right shoulder and once to the left shoulder, to my Recording Angels.

One day, the moment I said Salaam to my Recording Angel to my right, I heard a voice echoing inside me:

“You complain that you made a big mistake in your life—given a second chance, what would you do differently?”

I paused a minute and searched my mind. Then, silently, I responded to my Recording Angel: “I wouldn’t have left my country when my family and I were facing danger. I should have faced the difficult situation with courage and dignity.” I talked to myself, and I felt that I had made a big mistake. Instead, I took an easy way out; I left my friends, family, and culture and my country and took shelter in America. Since then, everything that I knew about my life has changed.

Then the next moment, I Salaamed to my left, to my left Recording Angel. The Angel was reading my mind, and I heard his voice now:

“Are you sure about that? My notes say you love your American-Christian grandchildren as they stand today. Think and fear Allah, the All-Knowing!”

I am confused, my Lord. Guide me through. Begged for Mercy.

My Salah was over, and I thanked God in my Prayer.

All these years, I was so busy with myself, and my family that I forgot to pray and thank Allah for taking care of me and be grateful. All these times my wife happened to be thankful and pray to Allah. So, I turn to her for help. She gave me this:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the lights.”

I turned on my lights and started to pray. It changed the way I view the world and the way I see myself. I began working hard to make sense of the world and my place in it. My life began to keep moving. I made friends with my soul, started writing to escape to my mind to find where my conscious fits in and speaks the truth of the heart.

 

Fear of Aging

Each of us carries the fear of aging. The question what old age is like embedded in the heart and soul of every man and woman on earth today who are in old age. Living longer in the current environment is not abnormal. Ripe old age is the fate of lucky few those who are fortunate enough to live in an advantaged world. As I move on with my life, I am writing this book for those of us who are lucky enough to live in their old age in a developed country. We need to understand how fortunate we are. In 21st Century, death before our time is a tragedy and likelihood of becoming a nonagenarian is high. It matters little how many diseases I have in a medically advanced country, my quality of life is important to me. I decided to write, and I think I am important to the world; I have things to give back. I am still learning and feel that I have something to say, in case you haven’t figured that out yet. I hope you enjoy reading what I write, and hoping it is readable.

One has to live through old age to fully understand what it has to offer for the end part of life. My personal approach to growing old and living well is to stay physically and mentally healthy as long as I can. I walk daily and read and write, eat moderately. I love walking and enjoyed walking since my childhood. As you go through life, it gets more and more interesting and complicated and at the old age, it gets less involved and has more time to read, if that’s what you like to do. I read and write a lot. I remember my son’s and my grandson’s first walk. I bear in mind that the first walk event is the beginning of the child’s becoming independent. For me it is an exciting time to have a new experience of being an octogenarian, live through it and learn as I age. I would not give up my privilege of walking which gives me independence. The habit of reading and writing gives me the ability to express myself. Everybody knows I love to talk. I will continue to carry on my patterns as long as I can.