When my husband was pickpocketed on June 18, 2008, he not only lost his wallet, credit cards, information and also pictures from when he was a young man. He did not have copies of them and so they were among the treasured possessions lost. He always liked to show a picture of how he looked at a young man’s age and pictures of when he was in the army for the Korean War.
The expression is that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is so true. I was cleaning out some drawers and found pictures I had placed there and never put in an album. There were a few of me in my dancing days of 1977 through 2001 and one of Mom when she went on a cruise in about 1968. I must have forgotten I put them in the drawer and it was nice to see them again and to relive those earlier days.
I put them in a photo album that contained a picture of Dad when we was a young man wearing a bathing suit in around 1922. The suits then were a covered top for the man, sleeveless and matched the bathing trunks and could have even been one piece. It is hard to see. He is seen with some young ladies and that is before he married Mom in 1927. He is smiling and it is the same face, as I remember him well when I was growing up. He was fifteen years older than Mom and sometimes as a child, I thought him old fashioned in the ‘modern’ ways of my time then. He was not, because now I feel old fashioned myself in some of my ways in these modern days.
I began to look at old photos of us, and our family and see me with dark hair, my husband with more hair and Mom wearing slant shaped eye glasses. Funny, on one of the soap operas I watch, they feature a young actress and she is wearing the same eyeglasses now as Mom wore in the forties. Perhaps, they are making a comeback.
Photos are worth a thousand words as the old saying says a picture is worth a thousand words. My husband was sad he lost those nice younger age pictures when his wallet was stolen. I see Dad as a young man long before I was born, about fourteen years before. It is interesting that we look at our parents and cannot imagine them as being young ever. Our children thought that about us, I am sure our grandchildren surely think we are old people in their lives.
My five year old granddaughter says nice things. When she sees me walking slowly up her townhouse stairs when we visit there, she and her brother, age seven, wait patiently for me to ascend them and they say “yeah, Grammie.” I feel yeah when I make them, they are high for an old senior with aching knees. I do it and feel victorious. Sometimes, going up is easier than going down. I feel that way about my new outside wooden steps, all pretty and white and expensive, as I descend them to go somewhere.
We seniors cannot give up exercising, walking, thinking and doing. In the older days, when one had infirmities, they were considered powerless and confined to their home. Now we are all walking, using our stationary bikes and trying to be active.
I had a heart checkup yesterday and the cardiologist told me he is so proud of me for being mentally active with writing my articles and mainly for doing three miles every day on my bikes. He said not only is it excellent for heart, knees but, also, for my cholesterol HDL which is extremely excellent. My HDL was always great in the number, even when the regular cholesterol was high many years ago. However, it is even higher now and he credits that rise in the number with doing the exercise bike daily.
I remember when Mom had her first and only heart attack at age forty-eight in 1955, she was told not to do this or not to try that. She actually stayed home most of the time and did very little active things. These were the orders.
Of course times have changed and we are more active. In my young days, the only time you saw people walking was to go to the grocery store, to the doctor who was in the neighborhood, to the pharmacy or to the movies. No one walked for just exercise. They walked out of necessity to obtain food, drugs, medical assistance or entertainment. Very few actually did it for exercise.Very few even owned autos in those days.
My aunt in New York City bought an exercise bike and kept it in her bedroom. When we visited there, we were astonished, that a regular person had a stationary bike in their home. She was blind and the doctor told her to use it for some exercise, since she could not walk around the neighborhood for it. She got on the bike and we were amazed at her using it, because we had only seen pictures of bikes in ads for health studios or physical therapy places. This was in 1949.
Then when I was about twenty-three in 1957, my girlfriend and I joined a health studio in the neighborhood and after work, we would meet and go on the bikes only, similar to the one seen in Aunt Ruth’s home in New York City. We thought ourselves real swinging young women who were trying to slim down our thighs. I also went to one out in Towson called Slenderella. This was a play on the word Cinderella. We had fun there, though they wanted to massage you too and we only wanted to use their bike equipment.
When I was newly married, there was a couple living next door to us in the apartment complex, named Mimi and Don. Don was the manager of a health studio out in Towson somewhere and he told me once that health would be a big time business opportunity and that he would be rich someday from being ahead of his own time working at a job like this. He worked long hours because the majority of his clients came in to exercise after work and so the evening hours up until ten p.m. were the busiest. The daytime hours were slim (pun intended) with clients, other than a few business men on their lunch hours. This was in 1961.
Pictures can be worth a thousand words and looking nice in a picture can be derived by exercising one’s body. Exercise can be worth according to my fine cardiologist Dr. Charles C. Cummings, a lifetime of happier days mentally and more productive days and hours as we age. He said that exercise too is good for the mind and he is so proud of me for accomplishing it.
So to the guys that pickpocketed my husband and took his beloved photos and probably tore them up since they had no use for them; we are sad and sorry you took his wallet, his credit cards and also pictures of his younger days. You, however, did not take away his spirit or his remembrances of those early times. They will always be in his mind and as Dad looked so young and cute in his bathing suit, I remember him from those photos and also from my mind’s photo album and so does my husband remember those dear times of his lost photos.
You cannot steal these from his mind and nor did you gain anything but being thief. If a thief has a decent mind, he will be sorry he took away not only someone’s credit cards and used them; he will be remorseful of stealing someone’s memories. However, we are strong in our minds and will always remember ‘mind photos’ of those happy times. You cannot take that from us.