195 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, NJ 07436 (by appointment)
Michael C. Rudolph, Esq. P.A.
100 YEARS YOUNG!
My mother’s birthday is on April 6th. However, she says it might be April 12th. Whichever it is, she has now turned 100. There were three birthday parties to prove it. At the first (April 6th), one of the highlights was watching her hold her twin great-granddaughters, 99 ½ years her junior, at the same time. She danced with me at the second party (April 13th) as more than 100 of the other residents at the Daughters of Miriam Apartments looked on, wishing they had her energy. And she mingled with 68 guests, all of them children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and close cousins, at the third party on April 22nd. She was radiant and virtually tireless.
What’s the secret of longevity? If you ask her, she will tell you about her almost 76 years of happy marriage to my father. She will also tell you about the importance of exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep and not smoking or drinking. One of my earliest memories was seeing her and my uncle swim across Lake Hopatcong. She played softball in high school. When I was a teenager, she used to play stickball with me in Third Ward Park. She was good at bat but didn’t have much of a curve ball. When I was in my 40's, she bowled in a league with the wives of some of my friends and won a trophy for high individual average. The highlight of the year was when she scored 289 (our of a possible 300) in one game. In her late 60's she shot a hole in one at the Passaic County golf course. And she has participated in exercise classes for years. Last year, during a rehab session after she had a short hospital stay, her therapist asked her to kick a volleyball to see how much strength she had. Mom knocked the therapist off her feet.
There is more to longevity than being in good physical shape. It’s attitude. Mom taught us the importance of being kind and doing the right thing. When she wanted to make a point, there always was a story about something that happened to someone we knew, or knew about, who had done something wrong, had gotten caught and suffered consequences. None of the subjects was ever was around for verification purposes), but I believed those stories anyway.
My mother never cursed or said anything bad about anyone else. She is truly a happy person because she has the right attitude. Holiday meals were always at my parents’ house, until age made it too difficult for her. She would end every meal with a question, the same question: “Is everybody happy?” We always were happy because visiting her, or having her visit us was always a happy occasion. Now, when a holiday meal ends, someone always beats her to the punch by asking whether everyone is happy.
I have to admit that Mom complains a lot now. She never complained in the past because her life was happy, and her reminiscences now continue to be happy ones. So, what does she complain about? If you think it’s the food served in the dining room, you are wrong. She may be the only resident who actually looks forward to dinner and compliments the cook. Her complaint is that there is not enough to do, even though the activities calendar we receive each month shows that mornings, afternoons and early evenings are full of things to do. She participates in everything but simply can’t get enough! When we visit on the weekend, she greets us enthusiastically, as if we were long-lost relatives. And she still introduces me to her friends by saying: “This is my little boy.” I love her. We all do. Last week, someone gave her a traditional Jewish wish: that she live to 120 years. She answered without missing a beat: “One year at a time.”
God willing, we will celebrate 101 next April.
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PLEASE NOTE: As of January 1, 2017, our office hours have changed. We Are Open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 P.m. Closed on Fridays, weekends and Court Holidays.
All hospitals must now give Medicare recipients notice when they have not been admitted but are merely under "observation" status. The notice requirement is part of a law enacted in 2015 but that just took effect.