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"But Then...He's an Old Man"

But Then...He’s an “Old Man”

 Stan recent picture 

(Photo above is Stan Berg...also known as “Old Man”, “Old People”, “Old Geezer”, “Old Goat”, and the numerous other terms used to describe the elderly by the younger world...)

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 “...but then he's an old man so I should make allowances...”

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The above was the comment a younger lady made about me following her outburst of anger concerning a posting I had just made on the internet in a caregiver group...I had expressed my criticism concerning the posting of obviously political commentaries, illustrations or similar matters...my position was that we needed to stick to the business at hand...the business of doing something about and ending the reign of terror of Alzheimer’s and the other dementia type diseases...

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Later the lady added this opinion commentary about “Older People”...obviously having me in mind of course....”

 

Older" people tend not to like " their" opinion questioned...That is a fact.”

 

Note: The posting that I objected to was clearly politically biased naming one of the U.S. Presidential candidates by name and in a derogatory manner...

My lady critic is said to be married, retired and living in the United Kingdom...Her birthday is in August 1948...that makes the lady just 20 years younger then I am...she does not define just where along the line of aging that “Older People” or “Old Man” definition begins...

She also pointed out to me about herself...I don't even believe in God, but I respected your believes.”...with that comment she proceeded to show me what little respect she really had...

I am diligent in avoiding the politics of another nation, as that is their business and not mine...this lady apparently had no such reservations...

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"Wrapping It All Up"

Yes, I am 88 years of age...no question that I fit the above definitions of “Old” or “Older”...perhaps only because so far, I have managed to avoid Alzheimer’s, the disease that took down both my mother Ellen and my wife June...and the risk factor multiplies by age...at age 65 the risk is 1 chance in 8 but it rapidly multiplies so that at age 85 and over the chances become 50/50 or 1 in 2....loss of short term memory is the first sign that one has the disease.

I am able to lead a very active life, managing a large memorial website in June’s honor and memory and promoting Alzheimer’s awareness, research funding and proper care practices...I am also active with over a dozen charitable memorial programs fully funded by June and our joint life savings... I try to assist the world wide caregiver groups with advice, counseling...and providing prayer services when invited to do so...

I am concerned that I am in the age group where the chances of my being infected with this disease is estimated at 50/50...perhaps I already have the disease...Mayo clinic advises that the disease may be active in the brain for 10-20 years before the first symptoms arrive...

I am completely content with this risk and I am appreciative of the wonderful life that June and I have had together(56 years)  before Alzheimer’s took June away...thank you God!

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For many years June and Stan roamed the US, Canada and Europe participating in most of the conferences in the forensic sciences...June was Stan's administrative assistant, traveling to about 170 conferences...Stan often served as a speaker or a program conference chairman...Stan investigated many high profile forensic firearms cases...testifying in Federal, State, Territorial and Military courts...Stan was privileged to author numerous forensic science oriented publications as well as chapters in 3 books...June and Stan had a great life of adventure...neither June nor Stan could have ever envisioned or imagined what their life would later be like when they first became man and wife in 1952. Stan thanks God every day for the great life that God gave them before Alzheimer's came to stay.

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June and Stan Mariage

(June and Stan 1952 Marriage photo)

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June and Stan always remained in awe that two poor farm children, raised during the great depression years, could have the wonderful life that became theirs...

June never displayed any concern or fear during our many travels...June, a dedicated Christian, seemed to have a faith that all would go well...June always had her hat on ready to go...the result was a life that was beyond June and Stan's wildest dreams...sort of like building “Air Castles” in the extreme...a wonderful gift from God.

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I am now and will always be eternally grateful to God for placing June in my life...I am most happy to assume the titles of “Old or “Older”...Until that final bell tolls for me...and June and I once again walk hand in hand...

Stan Berg...14 October 2016

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Reader's Comments

 Marsha McKneely Ault - Nacogdoches, Texas - (22 October 2016): "This is my reaction to your post titled: "But Then . . . He's an Old Man".

Marsha

 "But Then He’s an Old Man"

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Stan with his walker and cane
manages a world-wide website
with which he daily maintains.
To people everywhere he’s a knight—
even though his heart pains

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His goal: the retched disease to smite.
He promotes research and ascertains
one day a cure will be in sight.
Caregivers with prayers he sustains.

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June he misses during the darkness of night
his pillow drenched as if with rain.
He lifts and aides with all his might
in service of others he will remain
until the day he glimpses a heavenly light.

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But then he’s an old man,” the lady chided—
and then the world replied. . . 
“Indeed a grand ole man is Stan!”

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Marsha's Personal Notes: Thank you Stan for all you do to make the world of aware of Alzheimer’s...Stan became a dear friend to me when my dad was stricken with Alzheimer's. He helped me to understand what my dad was going through and when my dad passed from this life, Stan's request for world-wide prayers sustained me and my family. Yes! He's an elderly gentleman, but what a friend I have in him.

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Kimberly King Sowinski  - Riverdale, Georgia - (22 October 2016): "Beautifully written Marsha about a beautiful person - Stan. Through the toughest experiences in life including this horrible disease, I've found friends, more knowledge, and Stan's incredible life and love he has shared. You have an important purpose Stan - age is just a number. Thanks for all you share and do."

Kathy Williams  - Riverside, Texas - (22 October 2016): "This is beautifully written and so very true ! I hope you know Stan, you truly are a knight to so many people...! really do admire you so very much and I learn so much from you and June and yalls journey."

Lesley Pedder  -  Milton Keynes, United Kingdom - (20 October 2016): "When I was i my teens, I absolutely remember thinking that 40 was so obscenely old, that no one over 40 should even be alive! Of course, that changes over time! I am now much, much older than my tipping point of 40. In some cultures, older people's age, along with the wisdom and experience that brings, is respected. I think we have got this so very wrong in many societies...I think I'd just prefer it if we were all blind to age. Children deserve respect. Older people are not stupid...etc" 

John Stevens - Twin Falls, Idaho - (20 October 2016): "Well written article Stan. And to think that I am only five years older than the lady that said those things to you. I must be a geezer or something. But you might know that there are times when people younger than us, their mind becomes mired into things that should not be. Politics being one of them it warps their thinking and puts us all into jeopardy. Politics should not be on a support group. All it supports is a hair brained bias that fifty percent of the people do not support...(23 October 2016): "Read the post again AND all the comments. Super job you are doing Stan. Thanks for being there and reminding the world there are more important things in life then dwelling on politics."

Jan Tink BA Open - Ampthill, United Kingdom - (20 October 2016): "I am surprised at the comment of that lady, she is 11 months older than me. I would never be so dismissive of someone's thoughts or opinions regardless of age. The only thing I can think is that she has little contact with ''older'' people apart from perhaps family. I worked for many years with older people, some fit and healthy, some with physical illnesses, some with dementia. I learnt so much from all of them, they were people that had just lived longer than me, no more no less. Your lady is missing out on so much if she's dismissing a whole generation, more fool her. God bless you Stan..."

Mimi Taylor Nataro - Hicksville, New York - (21 October 2016):"WHAT?!?!? This commenter is being SILLY & CRAZY! Who exactly does she think she is - "the smartest one in the room". NUTS to that. You GO Stan! Keep on telling it "like it is", giving you opinion, information, suggestions. IGNORE the nitwits! "

Nancy Willis - Nutley, New Jersey - (21 October 2016): "But then she's an old thinking not so younger woman! Stan, you are not old you are very wise. How unfortunate that this woman doesn't understand that. So sad she is so quick to judge & label. I truly feel pity for her and her choice of living so close minded and unaware. God bless you in all of your endeavors. I will not stoop to her survival tactics and judge her. I will pray for her & those like her who get in the way of the love & peace we have for our fellow man/woman. God bless you, shrug her off and "Keep Calm & Carry On."

Debbie Larsen - Buffalo, Minnesota - (21 October 2016):"Hi Stan...I had to share your post as I have so much respect for you and June. One, including myself could learn much from you."

Kathy Williams - Madisonville, Texas - (21 October 2016): "You look great and I love the way you explained it..."

Connie Sue Lowers  - Decatur, Tennessee - (21 October 2016): "I love it Stan and you look great."

Lynda Etlicher- Rice Lake, Wisconsin - (21 October 2016):"Stan your readers have spoken for me and my thoughts. I had to chuckle. you have  a lot of backing in your favor. I wouldn't give a second thought to the Crab Apple...keep in it's good for the mind soul and  Heart !!!!! 

Lorrain Russell- London, United Kingdom - (21 October 2016): "Life is a learning curve each day we learn something new. But as for age is just a number i dont know you personally but you are a very intelligent gentleman and do a lot to raise awareness for Alzheimer's for that i thank you. We need more people like you Stan. Lovely photo of you by the way. God Bless." 

Sharon Henderson - Hillview, Kentucky - (21 October 2016): "I loved reading comments."

Ena Castle - Brisbane, Australia - (21 October 2016):"Well done my friend..."

Charla Williams - Grove City, Ohio - (21 October 2016): "I really don't understand why people cannot be respectful of one another online. You and I have had political discussions of which we totally disagreed. But, it wouldn't have occurred to me to insult you. I would've been ashamed of myself if I had done so. You just keep on living your life as the great example you are..."

Jauhn Etlicher- Green Bay, Wisconsin - (21 October 2016): "To my children and Grand kids I'm an old man (50)...I think its ok to disagree but NOT ok to disrespect! I always tell my kids that " I'm not smarter than you, I've just experienced more"

Gill Denman - Essex, United Kingdom - (23 October 2016): "We had some pretty dark nights, because of the time difference Stan was always around. TBH some nights I was just glad to know someone else was awake. Caring for dementia on your own is a lonely place. I will never forget the comments when Stan realized what time it was in the UK and being told that I should have been asleep at that time..."

Roger Griffin - Galway, Ireland - (23 October 2016}:"Yes, we have a fixation on age!!! Eecially here in Ireland!!! I was 60 on Thursday st! told me* you don't look it!!!!. Is there a specific look you get when your 'old'???? As Joan Collins says, I don't think about age, or act my age, or words to that effect!!!"

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Dianne Cogar - Springfield, Ohio - (23 May 2017): "This was written for my dad the year he turned 80, he was feeling old, unimportant and forgotten... until..." 

Dianne

"The Great Old And Wise"

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There's something great about the old and the wise 
Be it they women or be it they guys 
Their faces have smiled a trillion times plus
Happy or grumpy they cuss and they fuss 

Their eyes have seen things that many have not
Some still have teeth while others are bought
Their faces have frowned a trillion times more
Some are exciting and some are a bore

There's something great about the old and the wise 
They are who they are, they're never disguised 
They know what life is, they make their own fate
They are who they are and that's why they're great 

They know the aches and the pains of this life 
They are the survivors who can still handle strife 
They can recall depressions and fights 
They're not afraid of a ghost in the night 

There's something great about the old and the wise
They never hide the truth, nor wear a disquise 
Their lovely gray hair is something discreet
They're flawless, indeed, from their head to their feet

Just listen and learn when they speak from the heart
Don't take them for granted for this is your start 
If you'd like to live to a great ripe old age 
Just open their memory and learn page for page 

What is so great about the old and the wise 
They are the survivors the grandest of prize 
They are not wimpy, not lazy, or dumb 
They don't put on heirs like some do for fun 

Take a lesson from them, the line is real long
You might become, too, one brave and one strong 
The greatest of great know just who they are 
Wrinkled and gray, they're life's superstars

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 June's Passing

June 1994

After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and into June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on:

"June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"

 

 

 

 

 

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