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Loved this book. Every mini-essay speaks to me as I’m one of the “after all these years” people celebrated here. There are gems of humor, such as “who needs a facelift,” and spiritual reflection such as “I posit that my spirit does not age” and “I pray for guidance from the God of my choosing.” The key word is choosing. All those who contributed to this wonderful collection have chosen to face their “older” years with courage and faith, “kindness and love.” Wisdom hopefully comes with age, and within these pages that wisdom is evident. I smile at this nugget of humor and wisdom: “No one can be on a guilt trip unless they buy a ticket.” No one is on such a trip here. Rather, there is simply this wonderful group of human beings who silently or openly like my blogger and author friend Patricia Stoltey proclaim, “I take pleasure in what I can still do and let the other things go.” I’ve taped this on my mind! Thank you, Karen Helene Walker, wonderful author in her own right of a novel and a memoir, both of which I have read and applaud. Thank you for persevering with this “Still Me” project. Your editing skills and your own contribution to this collection have made it a most enjoyable read.
This is a truly wonderful book. Each writer writes with skill and honesty. I was deeply touched how each faces the inevitably of aging, and death that they've had to face, of parents or partners, or friends. Each writes from his and her own experience and the different issues they face; sex or not in their golden years; walkers if required; ageism and sexism; losses of children leaving home or retirement from professions; and much much more. And while there are memories from younger times, there is the realisation that yes, they have changed, in growing wisdom; more focus and motivation on self-expression in the years left; an awereness of their ancestors' influence and an awareness of the temporary nature of life with all its difficulties and challenges that aging can and does bring. Throughout all these marvellous stories I feel the vitality of each and everyone, irrespective of whether 90 or 82, or approaching 60. (still young!) Some write of taking up new interests eg swimming at age 65 and are now much better at it than ever before. There are still gardens to harvest, whether literally or metaphorically. These stories give me great joy and make me less fearful of this process. It would make a great gift to one's self and to another ...Highly recommended, it is truly a gem
Perhaps Bette Davis said it best. "Getting old is not for sissies." Well you wouldn't know it when you read this book. None of the 24 contributors gives the least impression of being a sissy. Rather, they're all frank, realistic and often quite funny. That's a great way to look at aging. No downers here.
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2017
Beautiful, thought-provoking pieces in this collection of authentic voices.
The book showcases a range of experiences and reflections that really made me think... In the words of an amazing, spirited and intellectually-active 90-year-old contributor who listens to audio books (which I have yet to do): "there was a 'mortality reality' to what I was undergoing"; and wise words from a contributor who says: "I try not to look at impermanence as a hard boundary, but rather as a supple frame for living each moment..."; plus, I'd love to know the outcome of the brave and determined 65-year-old who asks: "Could a woman alone navigate visa regulations, foreign real-estate offices, foreign languages and, ultimately, solitude in a strange neighbourhood?" Wow.
There are so many lessons to learn from these pieces. I think the most important one, is that we should focus more on the aging process and less on actually dying! (In April, I won the e-book in a rafflecopter giveaway at Karen Helene Walker's blog)
It's difficult to rank an anthology on a 1-5 star scale. Even though it's themed and there are common threads throughout each piece, the writing styles are quite different. That's in part what makes a collection like this a delight to read.
I meandered through these essays. I liked taking my time to savor the experiences and the reflections of each writer. There was joy and there was sadness, a poignancy on what it's like to come into a time when we can look back so much farther than we're able to look into the future.
What struck me most about each story was the honesty in the telling. I valued that above all. This a small insightful treasure each writer has left for those who on the path behind them. With each essay, I savored the words, related to them and felt the connections we all share.
I actually learned from Still Me, and I'm not so young myself! The overriding theme of this book is that no matter how old you get, you don't really feel that age. Writers battle the war between missing their younger skin, joints, and vitality and embracing the comfort they feel with who they are. These essays are inspiring...and they make you realize you have a lot to look forward to. As one author quoted, considering the alternative, aging isn't too bad at all!
This lovely anthology on aging was a gift from one of the author contributors (Susan Flett Swiderski). The writings were honest and inspiring. While I would like to share this book with others, I won't. I'll have to buy them their own copies because this one isn't leaving my house. It will be revisited many times. Thank you Susan and thank you Karen Helene Walker for putting these writings together. Brilliant!