About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“The authority of the Pope is not unlimited. It is at the service of Sacred Tradition. Still less is any kind of general ‘freedom’ of manufacture, degenerating into spontaneous improvisation, compatible with the essence of faith and liturgy. The greatness of the liturgy depends—we shall have to repeat this frequently—on its lack of spontaneity.”
— Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (2000)

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Laughing vs. Crying about Senior Moments
published 1 July 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

For the longest time after I turned 60 I felt humiliated and frightened every time I had a senior moment. By 74 I feel a twinge of humiliation and fear but then resort to the Recovery, Intl. (not 12 Step but for anger, anxiety and depression) slogan: “humor is your best friend.”

We seniors like to exchange our senior moments each day and laugh at each other and at ourselves. I am visiting my daughter, Diana, in suburban Redondo Beach, California. Today’s ones of mine, started with driving an unfamiliar car to Mass and shopping. LA, considered to be a hundred suburbs linked by freeways, is challenging for a senior. It amuses me to drive a classy, if old, Mustang convertible. Not at all my style as a pseudo-St. Clare. But I rack up senior moments by the dozens just going 20 minutes away trying to avoid the “left wing” Church 5 minutes away for a delightful Spanish style Church with a hispanic super-magisterial priest. I would not have dropped driving, except for Mass, if the GPS was around 4 years ago. But this Mustang doesn’t have a GPS, so I clutch tightly Mapquest directions on my lap.

Where my daughter lives there are stop signs on every block. Sounds easy. Well not if your head is buzzing with Watershed projects. Which of these 3 cars on each corner arrived before I did? Duh! Meanwhile, since it is really my turn, I try to avoid notice the faces of the drivers in the 3 other cars bewildered and angry that I am not moving. Next comes passing the right turn onto a big boulevard because 182 street comes right after 179th street, not like in NYC where I grew up where every street number follows the one before or ahead. Now I turn on 181st which turns out to be a dead end. I glance at the clock on the radio panel! Will I be late for Mass? What about that train that comes 2 times a day through a main thoroughfare and keep you waiting 20 whole minutes unless you happen to know how to veer off on side streets?

Big sigh! I made it to Church on time after all. Beautiful Mass, beautiful sermon. Lovely sight of all the ethnic varieties present. LA has 42 Catholic language groups. There is a huge Samoan looking man who stands rigidly in the first row in a trance-like state praying with eyes glued to the tabernacle. By my side is a beautiful hispanic woman decked with about 10 rings and a large gold crucifix. At my other side is an anglo woman of about my age dressed in a blue linen jumper with a Franciscan Tau cross. She, like many others, nods quickly at the peace gesture, hands folded, with a smile to show she is being traditional vs. unfriendly.

But then come more senior moments. Having heard my cell phone vibrate I crouch on the steps of the Church to talk to a friend about arrangements. A tiny woman rushes out of the adoration chapel to chide me that I am bothering the adorers with my loud voice. Why didn’t I think of that? Then comes the ride home where I miss another left turn. I wind up where trying to make a left turn across a 4 lane road means trying to beat out traffic from both directions. After ten minutes I resign myself to making a right turn instead and after 2 blocks getting into a turn lane.

The entrance to my daughter’s drive way involves scooting across with a left turn. The opposing right lane people have no visibility whatsoever as they are climbing a hill that ends one yard from her driveway. Good young drivers tell me not to worry because they will be driving slowly. “Maybe?” I think as I clutch the wheel and rev up to 50mph across the right lane and screech to a halt in front of my daughter’s garage door worrying about how much room by son-in-laws big Dodge needs. He is gone now but when he comes back will he hate me if I have parked too close to his sacred space?

It is only 9 AM and I am strung out with adrenal coursing through my body half dead!

Without my 20 years of Recovery International for anger, anxiety and depression, I would have had to go to confession for vulgar words emitted loudly early in the morning.

Puullleeeze, when you spy senior drivers like me, don’t curse us, pray for us to give up driving asap. But, would you want us to give up Mass just to make your day less stressful driving behind us?

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.