February 3, 2017
Today's newsletter has 4 parts.
Part one - Like a Rock
Like a Rock
I often refer to songs in my newsletters, usually music from the 1950s to 1980s. Sometimes, when a person sends me an email, what they write can trigger the memory of one of those old songs. And that’s usually how a song finds its way into a newsletter.
One of my all-time favorites is “Like a Rock,” which was released in 1986 by Bob Seger. You may recall the song was used in the Chevy truck TV commercials from 1991 to 2004, one of the longest running commercials ever. For me, it’s the guitar track that’s so catching, but also, the song’s message.
And sure, the song refers to when Seger was 18, standing arrow-straight, chargin’ from the gate and nothing could bother him or get in his way. But among the responses that came in this week, one from Champ Kaitte, showed how, through enormous adversity, she has stood Like a Rock for her entire life, not just during the teenage years. Her story is below.
Another part of the song I enjoy is where Seger reflects back: “Twenty years now, where’d they go? Twenty years I don’t know. I sit and wonder sometimes where they’ve gone.” We, as older Champs, often insert our own number of years: 60,70 or 80 years and wonder where those years have gone.
A link to “Like a Rock” is included at the end of today’s newsletter. Do yourselves a favor and listen to the song.
Champ Kaitte’s story is what made me think of the “Like a Rock” song. It is an example of how a Champ—despite adversities—has been like a rock.
Kaitte said, “Regarding turning it around after someone leaves: As you said, it takes time, it's almost like someone died, but you know they're with someone else. Or you run into them. It took me two years to bounce back.
“I was born deaf. Didn't wear hearing aids till in my 20s. My mother had stopped searching for answers to my problem. I didn’t realize how much I missed until my batteries went out in Biology lab. Sounded like trying to listen to a conversation thru a door, I could hear the noise but no clarity.
“Shocked and enlightened, I thought no wonder I failed in school: C-, Ds, and Fs. But later I realized it wasn't me, it was the system, they dropped the ball too.
“I never realized that I was smart until I went to college. With that challenge, I proceeded to move on. I went back to college. Took me five years, but I did it. Got my two-year degree. Raised my son. One of the things I want to caution Champs is don't close off your heart. I didn't for family, but, I did promise myself I would never love someone as much as I did that man.
“I've been married a couple of times since then, 1980. But for wrong reasons and they lasted less than a year. Total disasters.
“I was looking for someone to take care of me, I take care of people naturally. But then it always ended in disaster. In 2007, I lost my job. A man I was seeing, said if he could help in any way to let him know. I said NO, I had to do this on my own. In the past I always ended up moving in, or allowing them to take over. Inside I knew I had to tough it out to change that.
“This is 2017, ten years later, it hasn't been easy, but it’s been worth it! I got my job back, bought a condo, sold the condo. Bought my little two-acre fixer-upper homestead, which is my job now. I paid $32,000 cash. Now live on my SSI. I don't make much, $770 a month, but it's enough to survive.
“I feel like I'm living. Lots of work to do so I stay busy and am happy. If a good LOVE comes, I'll be ready. I'm still attractive, I get looks but no takers. I believe they are put off by this woman who is now self-sufficient, a do-it-your-selfer; I can build and fix most things I set my mind to, as long as this body holds out. I don’t need much to make me happy.
“SINGLE CHAMPS, hang in there, figure out what you need and want, it's not selfish or self-centered. No matter how long it takes, baby steps. I was an adult child of an alcoholic, taking care of everyone but ME.
“Love will come, and it might not be a significant other, it may be great friends, who love you. Love who YOU ARE. Took till my 50s to push thru. And that's ok. I want to live long enough to enjoy where I'm at now.”
Part 2 - Regarding spouses leaving and the life that follows
Jon, Olympia, Washington, said, ”When my X moved out in 1996, the hardest part was finding the frozen food aisle at Safeway. I also lost 15 pounds because she cooked with a lot of grease. I joined my singles group and met Sharon (still dating).
Because I put my X on my stock account she ended up with half my money (she never had any). We each then had about $80,000. When I retired in 2012, her sister called to see how I was doing.
“By then my money had grown to around $350,000 because of good investing. My X had bought a house which she lost during the recession and was working as a maid and was now broke. It's interesting that the same financial situation, high interest rates, made me enough to retire (I also have a state pension and SSI), and she lost everything. She never did understand money.”
Part 3 - On the lighter side from Down Under
And finally, this was sent from Tom, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Larry, in Ft. Worth, Texas, who forwarded it to me:
“A recent article in the West Australian newspaper reported that a woman, Mrs. Maynard, has sued a Perth Hospital, saying that after her husband had surgery there, he lost all interest in sex.
“A hospital spokesman replied to her, ‘Mr. Maynard was admitted for cataract surgery. All we did was correct his eyesight.'”
Part 4 - Update regarding a possible Volume 2 of "How 50 Couples Found Love After 50."
So far, 15 couples have asked to have their stories included. Why not include yours?
Below is a link to “Like a Rock.” This version has had nearly five million views. At the 2:12 mark, the classic guitar track starts: