It was on my mother's kitchen wall in her condo in Southold, New York. The little, framed picture with the motto keep a-goin'! I, my brother, David, and my sisters, Jeanne and Susan, took care of our mother, Mary, for many years as she went through the stages of Alzheimer's. At the end, we had to move her to a nursing home where she died on my birthday, January 11, 2008. It took a lot of stamina and patience to take care of her, but we did, especially David, who lived with her and took her for a walk to the "post office" (actually the mailbox a short distance from her home) every day.
Now keep a-goin'! is my motto as I care for my husband, Richard. It's the theme of an essay I wrote for a new book, Advanced Love, by Ari Seth Cohen. Ari's photographs and text celebrate the beauty and creativity of older couples who he has met in New York City, California and around the world.
"...the art we made, the lives that he, as a teacher, changed. Now it's different. One of us is eighty-five, uses a walker, needs lots of help, and can't remember things. What are you going to do? Make the best of it, confront the daily challenges, renew your spirt. Keep a-goin'.
from the essay by Carol Markel in Advanced Love
The cover of Advanced Love, published by Abrams Books.
Richard and I were honored and thrilled to be included in Advanced Love.
Ari took this photo some years ago in front of the
Donut Plant on Grand Street next to our apartment.
Richard has that rakish look that captivated legions of
women, and especially me.
Ari took the photo on the left last Spring.
I am wearing a hat and beads of my own design.
The photos on the right were taken at our wedding in 1970.
Jeanne accompanied me to the book signing. We dined at Il Cantinori before the party. It had been pouring all day, but the sun came out just in time to walk from the restaurant to The Strand. Jeanne was able to put on her adorable red suede shoes without fear of ruination by rain. She is wearing a delightful dress with silvery polka dots and a fun sleeve treatment. Her dangly white and black earrings are a thrift shop find. We had a great time at the party chatting with a lot of the folks featured in Advanced Love. I would have loved to have had Richard with me as well, but these days he is inclined to want to stay at home, especially at night.
I made these earrings for the book signing, and
I had my ears pierced as well, so I could wear them!
However, my ears would not cooperate, and I could not wear them!
So I am showing you now.
On January 26, Ari was interviewed, along with Barbara Flood and Stanley Dorfman,
on the WNYC program, All of It. I was a wonderful interview and Ari quoted my essay.
Here is the link to the episode.