THE LEFT OVER-BAMBA

One day when Bob, the p.t. came over he wanted to work on my right shoulder which was stiff and hurtting. He had a hard time loosening it up  He said, “why don’t you lie on your couch on your stomach and I’ll work on your right shoulder.” I said, “sure.” I lay on my couch on my stomach and he started massaging my right shoulder.  Suddenly Bob’s hand was down my pants and grabbed my left butt and squeezed it tightly in his hand. Startled, I said , “Stop.” and he immediately pulled his hand out from under my pants. I jumped up and he said, “It would be a lot better if I had a hard surface to work on you, so I’d like to bring my massage table next time.” I don’t remember if I even answered him.

As soon as he left I texted him, “I’m not comfortable with your doing massage on me. I hope you understand.” He texted me back and said, “I understand more than you can know.” I don’t like anyone touching me either. I won’t do massage on you again. We’ll just do p.t.” I felt relieved.

I didn’t tell anyone at first because the next time he came I didn’t feel afraid of him and believed he wouldn’t touch me inappropriately again. He didn’t. I was too invested in my getting to walk and he was helping me do this. Later I did tell my therapist what happened and I told the aide who works for me.

When I told the investigating agencies about this they wrote it down and said they’d investigate Bamba and include this, but wouldn’t say it was me. I didn’t know how they could not include me.

Two months later I received a report in the mail from the Dept. of Human Resources saying that Bamba did nothing wrong and they would send me a long report about the total investigation. I called the woman who sent me the letter and asked her how she can say Bamba and the physical therapist did nothing wrong. I had told them to come over and read all my text messages to Bamba and their answers to me including the physical therapist. They never came over to look at my texts, nor to talk to my therapist, nor to call my doctor’s billing agent to get her side of what happened from her end. Instead the woman said to me,” it’s your word against Bamba’s. There’s no proof.” I said there’s proof but you won’t look at it. I hung up and decided I’ve gone far enough and wouldn’t pursue this issue. I did say I thought these days women are believed when they say a man groped them. She told me to call the police. I didn’t report it to the police since it had happened several months before and since I wasn’t believed by the Dept. of Human Resources the police may also not believe me and there would be more investigations and I had gone through enough stress with this agency and the way they dropped me and mistreated me and others involved with my case.

This type of abuse of seniors still goes on these days and there is no recourse. Obviously Bamba decided exactly what each of them would say that would be cohesive with their story, their lies.

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PROLOGUE TO AN ADVANTAGE PLAN

[I was left hanging, not knowing why I had been dropped from Carter, my home health agency for many years. We never had a problem before that I was aware of. I got along with everyone there. I finally had a wonderful physical therapist who was helping me and making me believe that I could walk some with my walker after years of not being able to do this,not even stand for a few seconds without falling or getting weak.

Now, this very same agency would not return my phone calls, kept telling me I had this Advantage plan which I didn’t have. The same people Aetna who tried to put me on it never did. They took me off it in time so that it never showed up on anyone’s computer whom I called that I had it, except for Carter who insisted that it was on their computer . There was no service interruption from the insurance I always had which was Traditional Medicare. Since everyone knew this: Medicare themselves, social security, my doctor’s office, Walgreen, the drugstore where I got my medicines, why did Carter say differently. I even asked the Aetna agent to call Carter’s supervisor, Nick to tell him I don’t have their Advantage Plan and never did.  He agreed to do this. So, there was no way that Carter could still be saying this was the case. No one from Carter would return my calls, so I started to text Casey, their nurse to tell him all this. He wouldn’t respond. I asked him why they weren’t taking me back. Nick was on the phone with me and said, “We’re dropping you today. It was January 31 I started to cry about it since I knew I didn’thave that Advantage Plan.  He said, “We’ll get you back as soon as your insurnce gets straighted out.” . The insurance was straightened out; it never was different from the way it was. Surely they knew this by now.

I was so tired of dealing with all this that I decided to call Nick and directly ask him. He wasn’t in. The woman who answered the phone said she’d take a message. I said , “tell Nick to call me with an answer as to why they refuse to talk to me and why they won’t see me as a client when my insurance is good.”  She wrote this down and told me she’d tell him. He never called me back. The next day I got a call from a nurse at their Corporate Office. I’m calling to  discuss your problems  with the Irving Office. My “problem” was they wouldn’t talk to me and tell me why they weren’t seeing me as a client. That I had the correct insurance. She said to me she knew I had the right insurance. I was shocked. “You do know this?” She said the reason we’re not seeing you is you met your physical therapy goals.” What?! ” I started to cry. I was so far from being where I had hoped to be and why would they say such a thing? I told her that I was just starting to meet my goals, that I was unable to walk with my walker alone and I had done some steps for a couple of times with the p.t. guy with me, holding the belt around my waist with my wheelchair behind me. I didn’t even go as far as he wanted me to and I had to plop down into my wheelchair to catch my breath while my left leg buckled under me. Then he had to wheel me back to my apartment. This wasn’t meeting any goals. And I couldn’t believe that Matt, the p.t. guy believed that that was all that I was capable of after he had been so gung ho about my abilities to improve greatly the more I did of this, the more I strengthened my muscles.

The nurse said she’d check some things out and get back to me. I already learned to decode Carter’s statements. This meant I’d never hear from her again, which I haven’t.

Everyone in their company lies. There is not one honest person who has been straight with me about why they won’t see me again.

Since then I’ve texted both Casey, their nurse and Matt, the p.t. about my services and did they really think that I had met my p.t. goals? and I’ve asked Matt several times why he would say this or write this on his notes about me and did he really believe this and if so then why did he sign me up for more sessions?  I feel they were using this as yet another lie for their not wanting to take me back as a client for some unknown reason. Yes, I did start to write to Casey that I was filing a complaint against them with Medicare since they refuse to talk to me and won’t see me for treatment and never told me why, just left me hanging I asked Casey to call me back and that I had seen him for years and I never knew there was a problem between us. They won’t even try to find another p.t. person who is good to work with me from any agency. The reason I want a referral from them or from Matt is because no other p.t felt I could walk except for Matt and also several of them wouldn’t work with me saying I was hopeless and I’d be wasting the govt.s money because I was hopeless. Their goal for me was never that I should walk again so I never thought I could since it was so difficult for me to stand even for a few seconds,  although I longed for this more than anything and would have dreams and visions of seeing myself walk again. It has been the biggest loss in my life, not being able to walk. And then to come across this person who believed I could and was hopeful about it and created hope in me meant so much to me. He was experienced; had his doctorate in p.t. studied with the best in the field and had the experience of seeing this happen. So he knew it was possible to attain.

I felt like a lost soul, shipwrecked on an island, abandoned and  left to die. I wanted to die.

I called Medicare back to let them know that Carter had lied to me and they did know that I had the right insurance and surely they had somewhere I could report their agency to.  This time I got a different person, a man who listened to me well, was understanding and gave me two places to contact: one being an agency through Medicare that takes complaints in situations like mine for people who have been abused by Medicare agencies. I am planning to call them as soon as I get all my facts correct and see what happens. I am a strong believer that people should be responsible for what they do in life and especially  people in the health field who are supposed to be helping clients, not hurting them.

 

 

 

 

 

CONNED

I was living my life as usual with the same Medical Insurance I’ve had for many years:  Traditional Medicare with Aetna paying my prescription drug plan when suddenly my phone rang. “This is your Aetna agent.”Starting in January, 2018 we’re no longer paying for some of the medicines we had paid for and paying for others.  Let’s go over the medicines you’re now taking.” I wondered why this agent didn’t know which medicines I was being prescribed  One of the medicines I was taking would no longer be covered Another I was planning to take would be. Because the new medicine was in the same category as the one I was taking which costs $500 a month I decided it was best to change the medicine plan. I agreed to this change. He mentioned the letters PPO and I didn’t know what that was but didn’t ask. I thought I was getting a good deal and appreciated his phone call.

Within the next day or two I received a phone call from my Home Health Agency ” We have to drop you as a client because you no longer have traditional Medicare.” “What?! I didn’t know what they were referring to at first. “You mean that guy from Aetna who called me, that was only about my prescriptions. I still have Medicare.” The manager who called me was a nurse who worked with me several years ago for a time but was brash with me, had a mocking way about him and would laugh at serious matters I was trying to discuss with him. I told the agency I wanted a change of nurses, that I couldn’t work with him

They seemed fine with this and assigned me another nurse. This agency provided me with skilled nursing care,  physical and occupational therapy which I needed and appreciated.  I am in a wheelchair and it’s hard for me to use my limbs, to stand or to walk.  I have osteoarthritis and osteopenia. Nick said to me, “You now have an Advantage plan and are no longer on traditional Medicare. I couldn’t believe this. The Aetna agent never informed me of this change and I knew I never would have agreed to it if he had . I had a bad experience the year before when an agent came to my apartment and lied to me saying I could keep all the same doctors  if I switched to this plan plus I’d get additional services such as eye exams and glasses and dental care. When I switched the year before I learned to my dismay that I lost all my doctors and the Home Health Care agency. I had to wait a month to be re instated. I was happy with the doctors I had and didn’t want to start with new ones. Nick said, “Once our computers say you don’t have the Advantage plan, we’ll reinstate you.” I wondered how long I’d need to wait. Everyone else’s computer said differently than their’s. Nick said, “Social security’s computer is outdated.” I told him your computer may be outdated. I was in the middle of a computer war.

 

After that phone call from my Home Health Agency I called Aetna and told them I did not want to be on any Advantage plan and was never told this by the agent who called me. I was rerouted to different phone numbers and had to keep repeating the same thing. and  had to repeat myself. It seems that this agency is so big that no one part seemed to know what the other was doing. One woman I spoke with said, “You have to stay on the Advantage plan or you’ll lose your prescription drug plan with us.” “Why, I asked?” “Because you need to wait a certain period of time until you find another job.” I told her I’m retired.and was she holding me captive to this plan? ” When I called again,   I thought I got the right person and they said they were removing me from the program which was to begin February first . They gave me a cancellation number. I thought this matter was settled.

I called back my Home Health agency the next day. “I was  cancelled from the Advantage Program. ” Nick said, “Our computers say you’re still on the program.’ I said I called Aetna and they cancelled me. Again, Nick  told me that I was still on the program. I called the social security office and they said, “You’ still have the same insurance. Nothing has been changed. You were going to start it February first but you never had  and it’s not on the computer that you have it.” You can ask Bama to call the provider line and they can see which Insurance you have.”  I wondered what I had to do in order to convince my Home Health Agency which I’ll call Bama of this fact? I called the Medicare office and my p.c.p. doctor told me to call his billing person since she’s aware of these Advantage scams. She was great to talk to and had an engaging attitude and a lilt in her voice and was very caring. She asked me if she can call Bama to tell them the status of my Insurance. I told her to go ahead. The next time I heard from her, she said she was greeted by Nick, the Manager with the most berating treatment she ever experienced by anyone in the Health Care Industry He was extremely rude to her. He told her what he had told me, that he had to follow protocol. Stephanie told me she called the Corporate office to tell them how Nick had treated her and that the referring doctor would never again refer another patient to their agency. She told me that Nick should not be in this field with how he treats people. I as well called Corporate to tell them that Nick should not treat my doctor’s Insurance person rudely when she was only trying to help me irregardless of what their computer says.

When she called Bama’s Corporate office to speak to them about my situation. While on the phone with their billing Dept. she said, “I’m looking at my computer right now and it says she has Traditional Medicare. The woman at Bama said, “My computer says she doesn’t.” I was becoming increasingly frustrated and angry There was no way to convince Bama that I was good with my insurance and they can start working with me again.

Anxiety consumed me every day as I kept making calls and checking several times with social security.  Stephanie,  my doctor’s billing agent said, “I guess they’ll just need to wait until their computer says the truth.” I have no idea why their computer was so outdated.

I started to text the nurse who I had seen from Bama every day asking them when their computer would get straighted out. Bob, the physical therapist had already scheduled me for more physical therapy sessions thinking that all was well with my insurance. The day Bama told me they were dropping me the next day, Feb.1st, Bob knocked on my door and said, ”  I came by to say goodbye.” I’ll see you once this computer glitch gets straightened out. He had anther client in the building where I lived in Senior Apartments.. As he left, he said, “text me.:” I felt good about that since he and I had developed a nice relationship as not only a p.t. and client but we spent a lot of  our time together discussing politics, what was happening in his life, medical issues and just enjoying talking to each other.  He was very bright, extremely well educated, had his doctorate in p.t. and had been in Medical school first and transferred to p.t. He had extensive knowledge in the workings of the body and mind and we had a lot in common. He’d tell me about his girlfriend’s family, how he hated to see them since they were all “Red Necks” and hated the Democrats and hated Blacks and poor people, in other words the  Conservative Republicans as are in office now. He was very uncomfortable with these people even though he and his girlfriend were in love and had a good relationship. He even told me that he was going to propose to her on a vacation in Hawaii and I was the only person aside from his family he told this to. I wondered why he told this to me. We weren’t friends after all.

He’d come into my apartment and we’d start talking right away about all our mutual interests I brightened every time he came here. “You’re the only client I can talk to about politics and the world situation. The others are all Trumpians.” When Michael Moore’s book, Fire and Fury came out, he bought me a copy and said, Everyone should read this.”

I was also making progress in P.T.and was just beginning to stand up and walk with the walker however,  dragging my legs along. since I had lost a lot of bone in my hips from a car accident years ago. He always encouraged me saying, “You’ll get stronger the longer we work together.” Then he showed me an excersise to do in my wheelchair where I’d strengthen my hip muscle so I’d be able to walk better.I was greatly encouraged by him.

I knew “miracles” could be made in p.t. with a lot of work.

As the days moved on and I kept texting the nurse who was no longer calling me and Nick wasn’t either, I became sarcastic. “How many computers do you need to say I have the insurance you want? If I get you ten will you take me back.?” I never got an answer from anyone from Bama again Finally I called them and said, “Will you have Nick call me and tell me what’s going on and why you’re not talking to me and taking me back?” They transferred me to their Corporate office and I got a woman from their Insurance Dept. She told me that my insurance is fine and that I should ask my doctor for a referral back to them. I said, “You say this, but everyone else at Bama tells me that my Insurance is no good.” She said, “I”ll check this out and get back with you.” She never called me back.

Nick was always at lunch or in a meeting or just not there. A woman from their Corporate office called me and said, “I’m calling you about your issues with the Irving office.” I thought what issues? The only issue is that they’re not communicating with me. She said,”  We know your insurance is good but the reason we’ve dropped you is because you met your p.t. goals.” I started to cry. “How can you say this when I just began to take a few steps with a belt around my waist that the p.t. was holding and my wheelchair behind me so I can sit if I became too weak. Also I hadn’t even gotten to my neighbor’s apartment door which Bob asked me to walk to. She said to me,”Ill check this out.” Again, the old Bama phrase when they want to get rid of me. “I’ll check this out.”

I had also called the agent who had originally called me and asked him if he can call Bama and tell them that I don’t have the Advantage plan with his agency, that Bama doesn’t believe me. He told me he would do this the next day. At this point I no longer believed they wanted me back as a client and I had no idea why. I knew I had texted the nurse a lot but they never would call me back as they said they would and surely enough time had passed for their computers to self correct. I also texted the p.t. a lot as he said I could but he never called me back either One time he texted me and said “In this crazy world of ours it’s been enjoyable to talk to you and to work with you as a client and I’ll miss our conversations.” This felt good to me, but I never heard from him again. It was over. No more of their lies. I had had it with my contacting them. I was exhausted and spent

During this entire time I was withdrawing from one seizure drug to get on another since the side effects of the one drug had made me very ill. My blood pressure was stroke level throughout this taper off this drug and I had seizure like reactions. The stress I was under was extreme. It turned out I had a stroke from this entire situation. I’m 74 years old.  I felt duped and dumped by Bama and never knew why. I had a counselor who thought it was because I texted them too much.

I decided to file a complaint on them for how they treated me. An Ombudsman I spoke to told me to file a complaint with a Licensing Agency and then I also used an Inspector General and my long term health care agency. I did get a report from them saying Bama didn’t want me back as a client because I texted them too much Of course I texted them; they refused to talk to me , ignored my calls and never told me they were not taking me back but kept coming up with lame excuses. I never knew why they didn’t take me back. I told the Investigating agencies that they can read what I wrote them on my texts since I didn’t think I wrote anything that would cause me to be dropped as a client.

I cried a lot over this abandonment, over the loss of a great physical therapist who I felt close to who ignored me when he knew his agency wasn’t taking me back and I never received an apology for the pain I felt from how they treated me. This was all wrong.

Is this what it means to be a senior in today’s world?

 

Prologue: I never heard from either of the two Investigating agencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
:

 

ANCESTRAL MEETINGS

We were crouched in the small space, hunched over in order to avoid hitting the wall of the tent, our bodies so close we touched.

I waited apprehensively, not knowing if I could sustain the heat from the rocks or the psychological pressure of being in total darkness in this confined space. To calm my fears, I thought, what is there to fear in actuality? At this time in my life I accept the idea of life’s continuity. Now I have a chance to give up destructive thoughts and to gain a new outlook. If I passed out I’d regain consciousness. People are here to support me.  If I still need to be on this plane I will be. I thought about what had brought me to this place this day for this experience, and why I was here.

“What’s an Indian sweat lodge?” I asked Tamara.  “Come and find out; it’ll be good for you,” she said with a broad smile and a twinkle in her eyes.

One weekend in September, a sweat lodge was sponsored by the Lakota Indian Tribe in Wolfe City, Texas near Greenville, Texas. Tamara, a counselor, holistic health practitioner, and a Lakota Indian was one of the leaders of this weekend.  Not knowing what to expect, I anticipated an exciting time catching the enthusiasm in her voice. I was offered a ride by a friend of hers and a devotee of sweats.

We left early in the morning to Wolfe City. My new friend and I talked about the various healing modalities we had explored. I enjoyed the camaraderie.

We arrived early and were instructed to change into our bathing suits. Excited and apprehensive, I and others entered into an igloo shaped tent and sat in a circle with thirteen others clad in bathing suits.  Rocks which had been heated for four days and prayed over were brought in on a rake and gently dropped into a rock pile at the center of the circle.  Tamara described the four directions each representing different qualities.  West for insight, South for Wisdom and the two other directions.  Water was then thrown on the rocks and the heat began to rise and emanate the aroma of the sage being burned.  It became intensely hot.  The sweat started pouring from my body  The steam and the vapor were rising as the door to the tent was shut.  Eyes closed, I could sense the darkness around me  Unencumbered by heavy clothing, feeling the heat and the bodies of others, I felt as if I were in the womb.  I sat hunched over and totally still  Suddenly tears welled out of my eyes and emotions began to flow.  I do not know why.  I only knew that I felt both fearful and comforted actually like I was in the womb.

As my tears flowed, my body felt these strange sensations as if it were taking on the substance of the mud I sat in. I felt molten and pliable, an oozing loosening sensation as though layers were being peeled off me.  It was exciting to feel this cleansing sensation, different from anything I had experienced . In a sauna, one sweats, in a sweat lodge ceremony, one peels off physical and emotional layers.  I felt as if I were letting go of dead weight and being cleansed  Tamara said, “Pray to the Grandmother and Grandfather and ask what you each need. We each alternatively had a turn to pray out loud.  After each prayer, the person who spoke said, “Ho.”  The quality of this light , expulsive sound felt appropriate after the prayer.  My turn came. “Father take away my blocks to feeling whole and one with the universe. Ho”. I felt better after I spoke  We continued until each had a turn  Then we sang an Indian led by another guide in the group.

For the second round, Tamara began, “Now pray for your personal families, the universal family, and the extended family of the people on the land with us.” As we went around this time, my feelings came more honestly.  A man asked, “Grandfather, let my inhibitions be removed. Allow me clear vision, clear wisdom.”

I thought about how much the same we really are and how separate we all appear in this business of daily living.  Finally, a man’s voice cried out with heartfelt emotion to the Grandfather for release and surrender and he began to sob; cries suddenly filled the tent as his release seemed to bring permission for all of us to cry out.

I felt a surrender, a oneness with the group. How wonderful an experience it was to be able to release in unison this way. I was filled with joy that a group of strangers could come together and share so much, such heartfelt releasing and purgings.  I felt connected to the source of life and one with the transcendent and the mystery.

Slowly the crying subsided and we sang and chanted.  After several songs Tamara directed us, “As you leave the tent, walk in a counter-clockwise circle around the fire.”

As I walked out  the bright sunlight hit my eyes and I felt physically drained. I lie on my blanket near the tent, yet wanting to be back inside, feeling the comfort of the experience.  My energy began to return and I felt fresh and light  I looked around and saw Tamara by the tables laden with food.  I walked over to her and she hugged me.  Her hug was so comforting as I felt the warmth from her body. I felt joy and thanked her for the experience and kissed her cheek.  I said, “Tamara I feel so good.”  she said, “That’s what it’s all about, with a  beaming smile.

Then my friend and I walked over to an incline strewn with blankets feeling the beauty of life; the smells of the fire and the sage burning were exquisite to my senses.  The hazy  midst created by the fire framed the background of the woods.  I was absorbed with the greenery and the laziness of the people milling about:  a child playing, a dog barking, people lying comfortably on their blankets, holding one another, gently stroking each other, husbands, wifes, friends, all gave me such an exquisite feeling.

Random thoughts flowed.  “I am relaxed. I am whole. I am free. I am one with the universe. We are one.  I am good.  God is good.  God is me. I am…I am..I am…l

The moon was out. I looked at her, our great teacher who comes nightly, brightly, easily. People walking, slowly eating, comfortable, comforting.  I felt so much peace. I began to breathe deeply, fully, allowing myself to know a free filled expression of the life force which in the usual bustle and daily living I cannot even begin to sense.

The weekend ended with a final ceremony, smoking and passing the peace pipe.  Warsa, the main Indian leader spoke and gave gifts to those who helped set camp, build fires and been with them throughout the weekend  we stood in a circle and smoked the peace pipe, the stem and the base representing a man and a woman, apart and then coming together.  I took a deep breath and inhaled the exquisite aroma of the tobacco. I felt lifted from the fumes, filled with the aroma and the sense of being part of the whole.  The peace pipe was passed around the circle.  When the fumes died down we exchanged hugs and acknowledged one another in our godliness.  The message came from the heart. Love was the message, sharing and exchange was the message. I acknowledge you in all your divinity.  You acknowledge me in mine.  We are one and we are beautiful.

I left Wolfe City, Texas with a different sense of who I am, much lifted, much lighter, much more in appreciation of life and all its richness  wonder and splendor.

The joyous states are our birthright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SURGERY A poem about a dear friend who was a therapist. She had surgery which affected her larynx.

The voice became voiceless
at the turn of the surgeon’s knife.
The house was filled with quietness
The canker sore of the woman’s throat
left the family filled with strife.
Fun no more; they doted upon her.

She gave too much; now must be fed.
Confined to her house
to learn to receive instead.
On the eve of winter,
the woman now dimished.

To be or not without her speech
live her life; listen to Bach.
His ear upon the heavans.
A trial life, spiritual number seven.
She gave too much, now must be fed.

DOTTED SKIES……MY GRAND CANYON EXPERIENCE

Twinkling shimmering dots cover the skies
connecting Orion’s belt,
head, shirt, legs.
I see new brightness,
ecstatic pleasure overcomes me.

My head falls back in awe.
Trembling, tears stream forth, eyes glisten.
The night sky alive.
No city pollution
The canyon’s crystal clear
pure, resonating twilight.

A mass of God’s paintbrush
swirl the sky.
Let me remember,
these visions.

As I reflect my life,
back into smog, fog infested city.
Let me not forget God’s Grace.

Snow covered fields.
Mountain tops, passing roads.
Snow, there, here, everywhere.
Crunchy boots, indented
on chalky pavement.

New Year’s Day, New York City, 2015

New York City, New Years Eve, 2014-2015

I spent the  last night of December, 2014  thrilled as I watched the televised, New Year’s Eve from  New York City  my birth place,  bring in 2015.  I never saw so much electric energy as this New Year’s  from New York. Milllions of people sprawled the Times Square area in the freezing temperatures,waiting from early that morning; the time was close as the anticipation grew.

Taylor Swift one of the perfomers,  sung and danced across the stage  A song belted out of her, her dedication to New York as she swung and swayed her body across the stage , the energy built; she tore off her jacket in the cold , and invited the audience to sing along. Millions of people in the crowds belowed out the song with her. Two marriage were made as the stunned and shocked women said yes, and kissed their fiancess. Frank Sinantra played in the background with his traditional,” New York, New York.”

The camera switched to Dallas, Tx. where I live and to the Vickory street Theater. Dale Hanson was talking to the moderator. One man was planning to propose to the woman he loved. A nervous hour passed while he waited for his time. Asked what his New Year’s resolution was, he replied to marry the woman of my dreams. He got on one knee holding the ring. The shocked woman kept saying, “Are you for real?” and then said yes; the couple kissed so hard they were thrown off balance leaning to the side, the moderator put her arm around them for support. The Dallas Cheerleaders performed with strength and synchronicity, their scultured- like bodies, with snug fitting outfits. I got up from my seated t.v. position  to jump around with excitement and joy, my bootie shaking. Fireworks lit up the sky,shooting rocket like waves of brilliant colors to the heavans as the Dallas audience, amounting to one million looked up with gaping mouths. Dallas had her hay day. The camera switched back to New York, then panned to Booklyn. Sir Elton John,sung to a packed audience with orchestra accompanying him. Memories of his being dubbed knight by Queen Elizabeth singing at Princess Grace’s funeral flooded me.

Back to Times Square: The brilliant colors of the ball lit up, yet the traditional dropping of the ball no longer shown; that tradition died several years ago .The confetti filled  the area with white dots , dropped from high buildings into the crowds .Couples kissed, sang and screamed “Happy New Year.” The joy from this night was infectious. Into the night 2:00 a.m., people from 52 states and overseas still at times Square had been outside in the cold since early morning finally, slowly, streamed out of the area as temperatures got lower and the rain fell.