‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over’

The other day I saw a female scientist on the TV crying the blues because she was afraid the government would slash her funds to find ways to make people live longer. Are you kidding me? She’s not a problem solver, she’s a problem maker! The growth of the world’s population since the 1950s has almost doubled: 95 percent. Do you realize the size of our population affects the air we breathe, the food we eat, the traffic problems we have, our overcrowded schools, etc.? It also destroys our forests, causes climate changes and famine, unbelievable poverty and more.

I look at myself and ask, “Do I want to live to be 90?” No way. I told my doctor, “Don’t call me. I’ll call you.” And unless I’m in pain, I’m not calling anyone. When I wake up in the morning, I have “knee-moan-ya.” It takes me awhile to straighten up. As much as I don’t want a man in my life, I live with “Arthur Itis.” No, it’s not a sin, but I wish we could get a divorce! Seriously, is the quality of my life any better as I get older? Not really. I worry about being independent until I die. I’m not going to maintain all I do. It will get more and more difficult. Up until my early 80s I could still ride a bike and shoot baskets, but as I shrunk inches, I couldn’t climb on my bike. Every time I had an operation I lost an inch. I had five of them. Now I know where we get the term “Little old lady!” I was considered “tall” in high school.

This week I wrote my obituary at the request of my sister Jo, but I don’t know who I’m going to give it to, because she’s afraid she’ll lose it.

Awhile ago, I wrote my eulogy because I wanted to get in my last licks. I was dying (just an expression) to end it with Mae West’s voice saying, “Come up and see me sometime!”

This week I received a beautiful card and a magazine article about a family that has open house spaghetti dinners every Thursday. They went from five people to 66! Where did they put them all? They weren’t even Italian. I smiled when I saw the day, Thursday, because we used to have spaghetti on Sundays and Thursdays. The card writer wanted to know if I was still having my spaghetti dinners. The last one I had was about three months ago. There were 17 people there, but I’m not up to it anymore. I have two little prayer partners, and I’d like to invite their families over. I hope I can make it.

I’m at that point in my life when my mind says “Go, go, go!” (but please don’t leave) and my body says “No, no, no!” So far, my mind is winning. I told my family that if I don’t die with a smile on my face, I’m not dead yet. I want to see humor in my life up to the very end. I wish the same for all of you.

Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on the column to