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Sense of Direction

Keep your spirits up

June Donohue
Posted 1/27/23

  I'm not a person who gets discouraged easily but Boy lately it's hard to be positive with all that is going on locally and in the world.   The Ukrainians being bombarded by the Russians …

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Sense of Direction

Keep your spirits up


  I'm not a person who gets discouraged easily but Boy lately it's hard to be positive with all that is going on locally and in the world.  The Ukrainians being bombarded by the Russians and seeing the actual photos on TV  makes it easy for people to get depressed, even for those who are not prone to it.

After being in lock-down for so long because of the pandemic, it's good to socialize somewhat again and reconnect with old friends but even that can be a downer when you're faced with the illnesses that have worsened of so many and some new conditions of close friends that were totally unexpected.

One friend stopped by with some food for me and said that the reason she was slurring her speech was because she had a severe migraine which was also affecting her vision.  I became very alarmed when I spoke of my son, Michael, who she knows very well when she said," Who's Michael?" During our conversation I found that she also didn't remember who my granddaughter, Shauna was as well as Shauna's mother, Diane. I began questioning her about when she saw her doctor last and if she knew what her blood pressure was. 

She wasn't too cooperative, only saying that her doctor knows about her condition and said there was nothing he could do for it. After she left, I called her to make sure she got home alright and she sounded completely normal and upbeat and was walking in the Mall. I called my daughter and son asking them for advise on what I should do and they also were very concerned. They asked if I had phone numbers of her family and/or friends, which I don't. I know she has a son who lives in Hawaii and only calls her about once a month when he needs money. She doesn't get along well with her daughter who lives in North Carolina. One grandson lives in Florida and another in North Carolina but there are also problems there. 

Something similar has happened to Gail before and she snaps out of it pretty fast so rather than upset her, I did nothing, other than checking with her by phone every few days.

I recently went to a memorial service for Herb Ouida who was a member of my church. His son, Todd Ouida, who I've written about before, died in the World Trade Center. He was on the 105th floor and called his mother after the plane hit, to assure her that he was alright. He was a Cantor Fitzgerald employee. His father, Herb was working for another company and was 28 floors below. When she asked " What about Dad?" Todd hadn't heard from his father but he told his mother Andrea that he had and that his father had gotten out and was okay, which happened to be true. 

Todd had suffered from panic attacks early in life so it was amazing that he was able to hold it together during the time he needed to be brave the most. 

So how did this family that had been through so much, manage to keep their spirits up, which I witnessed, at the funeral? Guess besides their faith, they had plenty of practice.

Another loss that I find difficult to overcome is the one of my church, Central Unitarian Church in Paramus. After the pandemic, when we came back together, the congregation had reduced from 400 to 150.  Because of that we could no longer afford to keep up such a large church and were forced to sell it to a congregation which has more members and we now have a committee that is looking for one that is smaller and we can afford.

Another loss that I find hard to overcome is the Callicoon Center Band. The banner with my father's name on it, as the organizer in 1934, still hangs on the bandstand where I can see it as I walk by when I'm at my home in Callicoon Center. I know that a new location is being sought but, of course, I prefer the original one.

I know I must return to my positive attitude and look at all the blessings I have and be grateful for all the things I have to keep me cheerful.


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