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Mary Rose McGill Disappears

A is for Aging,” Robinson Leary said, looking up from her laptop. Everyone except Wiley Vondra and Mary Rose McGill were seated around table 12 in the Meadow Lakes dining room. Robbie was in full professor mode.


Anxiety -we get anxious about forgetting things, we get anxious about doctor’s appointments, we get anxious about events coming up, we even get anxious about what to wear and how we look…”


“And especially anxious waiting for doctor and lab reports,” Hadley interrupted.


Robbie nodded. “Then there’s A for Avoidance. We sometimes avoid going to the doctor, avoid activities where we’re not sure of ourselves, avoid crowds because we can’t hear well, avoid doing new things strange to us…”


“Avoid getting down on the floor if we don’t have a plan for how to get up!” Marge said. “And avoid going to new places where we’re not comfortable.”


“I try to avoid hitting pedestrians in the hall,” Alphonso Greatwood said, looking at his scooter, the Green Machine. “Then again, if they don’t like my driving, get out of the hall.” He laughed and they laughed with him.


Anger,” Hadley said. “It pisses me off when someone talks down to me or tries to help me when I can’t see something. I get angry at my poor eyesight then, not the person trying to be nice. And I get so mad sometimes when I can’t just easily do things I used to do without any effort at all.”


Ambivalence,” Robbie said, looking at her notes on her computer. “We take more time to decide things somehow.”


“Do Aches and Absent-minded count?” Hadley asked. They nodded.


Annoyance!” Marge nearly yelled it out. “I get so annoyed waiting in doctor’s offices or calling someplace and waiting for a human to get on the phone or for a nurse to call me back or when I can’t get something to work right and it used to only take a minute,” They looked at her, concerned she might burst into tears.


Adversity,” Hadley added. “We all have so many friends who are seriously ill, getting sick or who die. What was the joke here? Our main activities are doctor visits and funerals.” They nodded again. There was a moment of silence.


“There’s a bright side, too,” Robbie said. “Acknowledgement and Applause – even if we give it to ourselves. We recognize our lives have been well-lived, that we have achieved that we have reached the age we have reached, and it hasn’t been easy. Applause, ladies and gentlemen, for a job well-done.” She raised her coffee cup in salute.


“And let us Acclaim that life is good!” Marge said, matching Robbie’s salute. We know now how precious each and every good day is, days when we feel good and young and happy.”


“And when we Accept comfort and contentment when it comes our way. Happy goes up and down, but comfort and contentment are consistent. If we have those, we are the most fortunate of people.”


They all raised their cups again.


“Is there an A for the value of great friends, old and new?” Hadley asked.


Just as Robbie typed in “synonyms for friendship” Wiley Vondra burst into the room and looked around. “Mary Rose isn’t here?” he said with a surprised look.  “She said she was coming here an hour ago.” Geoffrey the over-sized mastiff, pushed his way past Wiley and looked around the dining room as if he could find his woman. She was not there.


“I called her,” Wiley said. Each of the friends pulled out their phones and called different areas in Meadow Lakes. Mary Rose McGill was not in the lobby or the exercise room or anywhere else.


“I’ll check the bathroom,” Robbie said, a worried tone in her voice. The friends kept calling. Wiley called Mary Rose again. Robbie returned.


“She’s nowhere to be found,” Robbie announced.

“I have a very bad feeling about this,” Wiley said, “Mary Rose has disappeared."


Let us age with: Grace, Humor, Courage, and Confidence.

Pass this on to other seasoned women who will enjoy it.

Joy’s Stories


I want to be with those women!”

Everything Changes: Everything Ages (Buddhist Wisdom)

It is what it is; it becomes what you make of it.


One of the most important parts of aging is recognizing the changes, embracing them as best we can, and realizing that our lives had and still have meaning.


And with all that, while I said it would never happen, I’m thinking about writing another book. The BOOB Girls may make an appearance now and then, but this short, readable book with a lot of stories and laughter will be.


A is for Aging

-A Burned-Out Old Broad’s, Perspective on Growing Old-

This on one of the first page

My father died when he was 63

I was 22

He was ancient.

Now my son is 63,

He’s a kid!

I have 64 words starting with the letter A. They all fit aging. Here are just a few:

1. Awkward

2. Awesome

3. Achievement

4. Accomplishment

5. Annoyance

6. Anxiety

7. Adapt

8. Accept

9. Analyze

10. Anticipation

11. Art of shuffle

12. Appreciation

13. Apprehension

14. Awards

15. Affirming

16. Adjustments

17. Absences

18. Attention

19. Avoidance

20. Acting


Credit cards: website or 402-639-2939

Check to Joy Brown at

8141 Farnam, #322, Omaha NE 68114


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