Holiday Letter 2022- from Alice Kahn Ladas
A lucky life is mine, born at a great time on planet Earth, in an exciting but not yet too large Manhattan NY, not poor and given a fabulous K-12 education at the Ethical Culture schools. I am still lucky today. I got to watch my children grow up, give me 3 wonderful grandkids and spend time with them, things my Mom and Dad were unable to enjoy because they both died too young. I can still drive, work, and play piano. After being widowed, I chose to live in a multi-generational community in Santa Fe, NM with lots of trees, birds, flowers, vegetable gardens and young people who attempt to help me live in this new strange tech culture.
Daughter Robin and grandson Jackson live back East but invite me to their home to visit or stay. I traveled often to hear my talented grandson sing both with the Children’s Chorus and as a soloist elsewhere. I listened to Robin, my best yoga teacher, whose views about what is happening are profound and well researched. Dr. Bessie Chiang, our newest family member, has been a wonderful friend and helper to all of us.
Daughter Pamela, and grandkids Coriandra and Kailina fortunately live nearby. I go to concerts where Cori plays the violin, the youngest to get into the top kids orchestra in Santa Fe. I go to gymnastic meets where flexible Kai performs amazingly with her team. I see and hear daughter Pam on stage full of enthusiasm and smiles for her students and her beloved National Dance Institute.
I have enough to eat, interesting part time work but find it difficult to be cheerful. I never watched a war before when it was happening or saw the devastated victims of floods, tornados and famine live on screen. For the second time, I contemplate fascism threatens to overtake, not just Europe, but my USA. These tragedies are in my face daily, not just something I read about in print like I used to.
I often eat alone, sleep without my former cat companions and can no longer do many of the activities I used to enjoy. Computers and iphones take up too much of the time that was once available to converse in person. Many of the things I fought for, e.g. babies well cared for, democracy improving in the USA, readily available birth control including abortion, civil liberties, sex education, are now severely threatened. My energy is too low to fight for them like I used to. So please take action for these things if you want them as badly as I still do. And don’t let tech interfere too hugely with the connection needs of us human top level monkeys. Keep as much loving in person connection as you can manage.
Living to over 100 is a mixed blessing. Lucky to be alive, many things are more challenging than they have ever been. My body needs attention in ways it never used to. As soon as I become familiar with the newest tech, it becomes obsolete. In addition, I don’t just need glasses, I need hearing aids, and oxygen . As McCann’s Cheerful Cherub said:
“I never feel much older
Though grey I grow and sere,
But somehow other people
Seem younger every year.”
Love from your Mom, Grandma, relative, friend, colleague, neighbor.
Birthday May 30 2023, age 102.
I am sure she would love to hear how you are inspired by her. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward it to her.