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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

Older Women: Seventy & Up

Mollie's life was filled with song. She was, after all, a concert pianist whose modest home in Chicago came alive every time she arranged the piano bench just so, took her seat, and began to play her favorite Bach, Chopin, Liszt and others.

Mollie lived alone for decades following the premature death of her one and only husband. She'd thought of remarrying but never found the right man; besides, her life was full with friends old and new, family, book clubs, gatherings for a group that wanted to keep spoken Hebrew alive, intellectual curiosity and physical activity. Barely five feet tall in her stocking feet, Mollie's spirt was as imposing as a full-grown Redwood tree that reached to the heavens and beyond.

She was an angel, even though she would have balked at such a tag. Mollie was unassuming with not a modicum of self-importance. But you knew when she walked into a room, not because of her stature or resounding voice, but because there was a presence, a special magic, an energy that drew people to her like a kid to cotton candy.

I couldn't verbalize it then but know now that Mollie had discovered the "secret" to a full and honorable life: a passion for, in her case, music; an active life filled with intellectual challenges, and a refusal to dwell on issues like health--even when she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer that required surgery. Her friendships with people much younger than herself kept her in touch with the present, while she steadfastly held warm memories of the past.

Mollie died peacefully in her sleep in 2002, just short of her 90th birthday. An honorable death for an honorable woman.

As women in our seventies (and younger women, too), there is so much to learn from a mentor like Mollie. For her, aging was a natural process to be embraced, not damned. She never saw herself as invisible; she did not shrink into the background as happens to too many of us. To Mollie, life was an adventure. There was always something new to learn, someone new to meet. She kept on truckin' until the end.

Do you have a Mollie in your life? Share her with us. Contact me, and we'll take it from there.

A Call for Guest Bloggers

Send me names of fascinating women who may want to guest blog and share their expertise: A dream therapist; an "alternative" ob/gyn; a podcaster whose specialty is couples; a local author who has just written a terrific novel about women at any stage of their lives; an activist in the #MeToo movement; a fellow Baby Boomer who marched for women's rights. The list is endless and exciting!

Links To Check Out

"I Am (an Older) Woman, Hear Me Roar

"Try to Keep Up With Australia's Fastest 92-Year-Old Woman"

"Can Skype Help Seniors Beat The Blues?"


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