Thanks Marilyn and Bleepty

I met Marilyn at a women’s clothing store a couple of years ago. We both worked part-time, and bonded over our love of clothes.  She was in her 60’s, medium sized with light brown hair, and was quiet, hard working, very sweet, and unbelievably enthusiastic about folding tissue paper perfectly when wrapping merchandise.  I watched, learned and can now tissue with the best of them, but I’m still not as good as her.

When I left my job there almost two years ago, I missed all my co-workers, but was so busy I didn’t pick up the phone or figure out a lunch date like I should have.

But a while back, when I was walking Topper around the block, I discovered that Marilyn lives right behind my apartment. She lives in a tidy, brown house she keeps threatening to landscape, with her husband, who’s dealing with memory challenges.

We’ve met for coffee and a walk a couple of times since we discovered we’re neighbors, and I hadn’t seen her for a few months. Last time we talked she was having a lumpectomy and didn’t seem too concerned about it. Then last week she pulled up beside me as I was walking Topper (again).

She leaned over into the passenger’s seat to ask how I was doing, and my eyes must have bugged out when I saw the scarf on her head, because I realized her cancer must have been pretty serious to warrant  chemo. She just nonchalantly said, yeah she was getting chemo, and since her hair started to fall out, she decided to just get it all chopped off — like she was talking about a hang nail.

That’s when it hit me that I’ve been such a whiny whiner about the upcoming birthday that I’ve stupidly named Bleepty, because I can’t bring myself to say 60, when I could be facing the possibility of no birthdays.

All this, while Marilyn, with a memory challenged husband and a cancer diagnosis, is bulldozing forward.

I hate it when I realize I’ve been a schlump.


The perfect birthday candle to celebrate turning bleepty-years old.

Thank you Marilyn, you are damned impressive. And bleepty — I think I need to thank you too. I’d be in a far worse place if I didn’t have you to look forward to. Sorry it took me so long.

13 thoughts on “Thanks Marilyn and Bleepty

  1. Pingback: I Could Use Your Help – Can You Nominate Me? | At Fran's Table

  2. Dear Fran, I love that you can spout words of wisdom in amongst the food and memories. I agree that as long as we can put our heads down and keep plowing through, we are doing well. I think that’s what it takes to get the most out of this life on earth. Many blessings! Enjoy those walks with Copper!! love ya

  3. Inspiring post Fran, I’m Bleepty plus a few more. Age has never bothered me but a few other things do, tell Marilyn she’s my hero!

  4. You will kick Bleepty’s butt, Fran!
    What’s another year, huh? You’re so full of life, it’s truly only a number, and heck, even though our aging bodies chime in with creaky reminders of the process, I say laugh at the wrinkles and celebrate the day that the world was lucky to have you bounce into it!
    I’ll pray for Marilyn and the challenges she’s facing. Those kinds of curveballs are indeed difficult. Such a shame.
    Don’t let Bleepty scare you, Fran. Bleepty is just a little over halfway to 100, and look at how many people are doing that number these days.
    Toss some glitter in the air and tell Bleepty that you’re comin’ and she better watch out! You’re gonna show her how to do it! 🙂

  5. Well said. Marc turns bleepty the day before you. I wanted to give him a bash but he wants only a small family party. Which works out fine, really.

    • Yeah, I understand his not wanting to advertise because our society tends to look at you differently when they make assumptions about you based on chronological age. I am working on gentle acceptance, but it’s been a challenge. Tell Marc Happy Bleeping Birthday!

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