Women’s News: A Life Lived In 9 Decades and Nearly 9 Years


Carrie Goldman

Author, BULLIED: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear

I can hear her voice, the characteristic cry of “aaahhhh!” at the end of a funny story. The word “aahh” rises in pitch and intensity for two or three seconds before leveling off into a big laugh, her brown eyes sparkling with delight.

Some of my clearest memories of early childhood take place in her home. My sisters and I were probably the only people in the country who thought it was a fantastic idea to leave Florida and fly to Minnesota in the dead of winter. The trek north meant we were heading to Grandma’s house, where the center of joy was located. Endless games of cards, unlimited pieces of chocolate candy, and hours of storytelling awaited us.

As I think of Grandma, the images and sensations flood my brain, activating memories in the areas of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound.

I am 6-years-old. I wake early and tiptoe through the house, curling my toes into the long shag carpeting. I settle onto the floor in the little room behind the living room, where Grandma stores piles of photo albums.

I sit there for an hour, looking through years of photo albums, carefully examining every single picture and reading Grandma’s slanted cursive writing on the backs of the pictures. I could recognize that handwriting anywhere. It is the familiar script that appears on envelopes in my mailbox several days before every birthday, Hanukkah, and Valentine’s Day.

I am 18-years-old. I pull open a dresser drawer in dad’s old bedroom, looking for a place to store some clothes while we visit Grandma. The scent of mothballs hits me. I breathe in deeply. The smell is not unpleasant at all. It is Grandma’s house. Clothes and shoes and purses are wrapped and stored in every drawer. I walk out of the room and down the hall to the kitchen. The dizzying scents of butter, eggs, bread, and cinnamon sugar mingle together, beckoning me to get in line for a piece of Grandma’s French toast.

I am 24-years-old. I peel the thick layer of frosting off the fudge-topped brownie, saving it for last, and begin to eat the cake part. It takes only two or three bites. Then I pick up the soft rectangle of frosting, anticipating the explosion of chocolatey sweetness. Grandma’s brownies. Ten million times better than Betty Crocker.

I am 30-years-old. My phone rings (and we do not yet have caller ID). “Carrie, this is Grandma,” she always announces. She need not have said anything. I can tell it’s her during the pause between picking up the phone and hearing her voice. I know her by the very breath she takes as she starts to speak her first syllable.

I am 39-years-old. I’m sitting on the couch in Grandma’s new place, watching Grandma talk and visit with my husband and three daughters. My 6-year-old cannot stop touching Grandma. The little girl takes the 98-year-old woman’s hands and strokes them.

She places her cheek against Grandma’s cheek. She rubs the age spots on Grandma’s arms, gently exploring the paper-thin skin that hangs from the fragile bones. Curiously, I reach out to touch Grandma’s hands. I can feel the birdlike bones. I wonder at the unimaginable softness of her skin. Like my daughter, I touch Grandma.

The 6-year-old curls up next to her great-grandmother. The two of them are both frail in appearance, whisper-thin with large brown eyes, yet their tiny frames belie an unbreakable toughness. The beauty of them sitting together is exquisite. I find I am holding my breath as I watch them. One with the flawless skin of extreme youth, the other heavily lined with decades of living into extreme old age.

All three of my girls gravitate towards Grandma, holding her hands as we walk down the hall and out to the car, escorting her proudly as she walks unassisted through the restaurant to our table for lunch. I watch my Grandma watching my children as they eat, her smile wide and delighted.

We do not know it then, but it is the last meal they will share with her. I am the lucky one. In the fall, I stop in Minneapolis to do some publicity as part of my paperback book release.

October 2013
I haven’t told Grandma that I am coming to town. I want to surprise her, but I know she prides herself on always dressing beautifully, and it is best to give her time to get ready. So I call from the airport to tell her I am here and ask if I can pick her up for lunch in an hour.

She comes to the door, hair and makeup freshly done, perfectly dressed. We talk about my sister’s upcoming wedding, about Grandma’s new friends in her apartment building, and about where we should go for lunch.

“Can you believe you will turn 99 in April?” I exclaim. She laughs and replies, “I only need to hang on for one more year after that, and I’ll reach a hundred! When I ask my doctor what I should be doing, he says, ‘Ruthy, I should be asking YOU what I should be doing!'” Her eyes glitter as she shares the story proudly.

January 2014
I buy a ticket to visit my grandma. The travel date is for 10 days from now. The day after I buy the ticket, my mom calls. Grandma has died. I sit on an airplane with my children and my husband, flying to Minneapolis in the middle of winter, tears streaming down my cheeks. Toward Grandma, the center of joy.

Seventeen of us, just a fraction of the number who have flown into town, are congregated in my hotel room. Six of the great-granddaughters are jumping on the bed, laughing and screaming with happiness at being together. The adults are sharing stories about Grandma Ruthy.

Her death is not a tragedy. She lived a long and full life. But her death is a great loss, especially because she was mentally sharp and competent until the end. I lost the grandma I knew. She was a woman who always chose life.

Born in April of 1915, she lived through a great amount of history, and even when she faced hardships, such as the loss of her own mother at age 12 and the loss of her first husband when her boys were young, she moved forward with grace, dignity and hope. She was a survivor who created a world of happiness and stability for her family. She was always up for a good story, a little mischief, and a lively party.

It seems impossible that she is not here. I look around to make sure it is true. And then I know. She is here. She lives on in the family she created, in the love we share, in the legacy of her children and her children’s children, and her children’s children’s children, all who knew her and loved her. May her memory be for a blessing, now and always.

Follow Carrie Goldman on Twitter and Facebook
Check out Carrie’s award-winning book

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carrie-goldman/a-life-lived-in-nine-decades_b_4599082.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Natalie Gouche’


Natalie Gouche’ is a social media marketing trainer based out of Los Angeles, California. She uses her expertise in marketing to help others master the new age of communication.

Natalie started her career in social media as a frustrated small business owner looking to expand her global reach. She used social media to attract customers, grow sales in her health business and brand her name. In less than 6 months Natalie was able to quit her corporate job and triple her income using only online strategies. It was then that she decided to train and empower others on how to effectively use the social media-marketing platform to grow their business. She can be found around the Los Angeles training, speaking and teaching as well as doing webinars for her international clients.

What people are saying about Natalie Gouche’ :

“Natalie Gouche’ is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs. I recently attended one of her Facebook 101 training classes and was happy with the service she provided. Natalie seems equally comfortable with business owners that are well established to entrepreneurs just starting out, and demonstrates a genuine willingness to share what she knows with others. I recommend contacting Natalie if you need help taking your business to the next level.” – Tamesha Diggs

“Working with Natalie one-on-one is an experience. With her fast pace style, she engages you to think and put into action on the spot. No frizzles, no fluff just plain down-to-earth and get job done.” – Earnestine Lavergne

“Natalie has given me the know-how on getting a step ahead in the online world and her information is outstanding. Her creative ideas and her genuine willingness to help is apparent from the get go. I would definitely encourage the business minded to reach out to her because no matter how big or small, Natalie is sure to make a lasting and valuable impression.” – Purvee Patel of Pure Management

“Since working with Natalie, I’ve finally conquered my fear of Twitter and now I’ve got lots of followers and connections. Using this medium to promote my business and stay in touch with my contacts is easy and effective, and I can’t thank Natalie enough for all her help and encouragement. She is a terrific social media coach and consultant” – Diane Severt of Busy Bee SEO

Office: 213-394-5973

Hours: 8am-5pm PST

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MogulMom

Contact Natalie

A Message From The Creator


%d bloggers like this: