Reflections on Life at 80

After a birthday weekend packed with celebrations, family togetherness and promises to get together more often, life on my home front is quiet: a good time for some reflection. 

You’ve been privy to many family stories I’ve shared; what follows are just a few thoughts and memories of a life well lived.

Growing up was a happy time: loving and supportive parents, Joseph and Mary, whose family came first; a younger brother, Jack, who could be a real pain but who is now a cherished part of my life; and my precious little sister, Rosemary, who was born when I was a teenager. She and I did fun things as she got older: I taught her to roller skate, we went out for Chinese food, she was part of my wedding and she was like a big sister to our firstborn son, George. We share that unbreakable sister-to-sister connection.

Sign Up for E-News

I can’t say life was without bumps, hurts and bruises: Sadly, my marriage ended in divorce and I raised four young boys by myself with the love and encouragement of my family. There were painful break-ups, friendships that ended much too soon, illnesses etc., for me and my sons. We pulled together and moved on.

As life can be filled with joy, we know that sadness runs side by side with that joy. I shed many tears over the passing of my parents, my husbands, Bud and Art, and close friends, Rina and Shirlie, all from that dreaded cancer, which, as you know, has also crept into my life.

Now for some good stuff: I love being Mom to my crew—George Jr., Paul, Matt and Joe. Raising them was a journey in itself. What one didn’t think of, the others did and off they’d go on some wild adventure. With boys, what you see is what you get: exuberance and physical activity up front and out there. My sons became loving, family-minded, loyal and decent men of whom I am very proud. Throw into this happy mix my lovely stepdaughter, Val (thanks, Artie), and her handsome hubby, Kurt, my daughters-in-law, Helen and JulieAnne: I am a winner, big time!

I adore my grandchildren. Listening to them talk about their hopes and dreams is a real shot of adrenaline. I Skype with Kala and Trevor in Asia; I text with Mattman, Matt B. and Chris (I’ve been resistant to technology, but there are times when it “works” for me.). Getting together with Nick, Brennan and Brianna is always fun. We have some great conversations and share thoughts and ideas. They listen intently to Grandmopps’s stories and opinions.

As a human being, I made some crappy choices and decisions; however, the good ones outweighed the bad. With lots of help and patience from the Man Upstairs, these choices have made me the woman I am. Know what? I like her.

And what could be better at 80 than being cherished by family and friends who are loving, caring and hug me back? My dear readers, it doesn’t get any better than this.

P.S. A few folks have asked about my health issues: I’ve been in a holding pattern over the airport these last few months! There are some tests scheduled in a few weeks to see how I’m doing. I am feeling pretty good and looking forward to some pleasant summer activities. Thanks for asking!

Ruthann can be reached at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The Feline Night Stalker

Shades of the late Darren McGavin! If you liked the ‘70s horror shows on TV, you knew him as Kolchak, crime reporter, in the series “The Night Stalker.”

It seems that I have a night stalker living with me. My kitty, Bonnie, had her 18th birthday in April and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in her behavior. Up until that time, Bonnie would sleep on my bed at night. She ...

Hitting the road, Part II

Welcome back to our little trip across these great United States. We left off somewhere on Route 90, heading out of Cleveland.

So glad to have you following along, and frankly, if you’re following I’m just glad you’re not the cops. On the way to Chicago I found myself driving 70 miles an hour, which made the police quite angry, since the speed limit was 75. 

When ...

Sabotaged by the DMV

After living in Manhattan for the last few years, my grandson, Chris, and my wonderful grand-daughter-in-law, Silvia, have decided to move back to his hometown of Westfield, N.J. Silvia has just returned from a four-day visit with her parents in Hong Kong and they are bunking with my daughter, Lisa, while preparing their new home. Because they now have a daily commute to the city, I decided to ...

Do it badly!

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at least to start. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned to get started on a project even if I don’t have all the pieces together. Sometimes just puttering, tinkering or moving the parts around will help me sort out my brain enough to give me an idea of how to tackle a project.  

I can’t tell you how many times ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights




Tue, June 26, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights




Tue, July 3, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights



Excited for Somers Block Party June 30

June 20, 2018

Hello Somers:

The Town is excited this year to partner with the Somers Lions Club, Somers Chamber of Commerce and Sebastian Capital to offer a new kind of Independence Day celebration, at a new location, starting a new tradition with the 2018 Somers Block Party on June 30.

The Block Party will take place at Sebastian Capital’s 1 Pepsi Way property (across from King Kone) with gates ...