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Your Voice: November

Readers share stories, thoughts, opinions and poems
Second World War amputee veteran Lloyd Brown in 1943 and today. Photo War Amps

100-Year-Old Veteran Remembers the Fallen

When I returned home from the war, I joined The War Amps and have been a member ever since. This Association was started by First World War amputee veterans to help each other adapt to their new reality as amputees. 

The sacrifices of those who served (and continue to serve) deserve to be remembered and honoured. Each Remembrance Day serves as a poignant reminder of the tremendous price paid by these brave individuals. Their selflessness and courage continue to resonate, and it is our duty to ensure that their legacy endures.

December in Alberta

Our friends have flown to warmer climes

Sweet pleasure to pursue

But I ask “What is better

than Alberta’s sky so blue?

Where sunshine dances on the snow

Where frost clings to each tree

White world so clean and sparkling

I’m glad for eyes that see

Across white fields and rolling hills

To mountains, silver white

A coat and boots are all I need

To embrace this glorious sight.”

As I consider God’s great gifts

This crisp, December morn

I count among the best of them –

Alberta – where I was born.

Wendy Colvin, Calgary, AB


Re: Filing taxes after deadline

2 MORE reasons to file your taxes after the deadline. Especially if you are a low-income senior, 1. you could lose your Guaranteed Income Supplement. For some seniors, this is a significant amount of their income if they had low CPP contributions. It tops up their OAS. 2. you could lose your Alberta Seniors Benefit and the other benefits for Special Needs Financial Assistance available to low income seniors. It takes about 9 weeks or more to get those benefits back up and running. But better late than never! If you need help in hurrying this along, contact a social worker at a seniors' centre, or with FCSS in your municipality. Many places can help seniors file over the phone, even after the deadline. CVITP with CRA can help locate someone in the community that can help.

Deborah Miville, Edmonton, AB


Getting Old

The other day I stood naked in front of my full-length mirror. It made me a bit sad to see how my body had changed over the years but I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the indignities forced upon us by age. These include:

- Greying hair that is also starting to thin

- Eyes with hoods over them and bags under them, not to mention diminishing eyesight and the need for glasses

- Brown age spots appearing on your face and arms

- Wrinkles spreading all over your body

- A “turkey neck” and jowls hanging beside your chin

- Ears getting longer and hearing diminishing

- Flabby wings under your arms

- Fingers beginning to swell with arthritis

- Hips that are stiff and sore

- A bladder that has a life of its own

- Boobs hanging down to your waist (where your waist used to be that is)

- A butt now flat and saggy

- A hanging stomach with no muscles left

- Knees that crack when you get up from sitting

- Ankles and feet that swell and don’t seem to keep you as balanced as they used to

- And a mind whose memory is often challenging

After observing all these changes in my body, I decided not to do this inventory in the mirror ever again. I wasn’t sure how to cheer myself up or be accepting of my age but after much thought, I decided to say “thank you” for having even arrived at this age. Many have not.

Am I ever going to look youthful again? Never.

Are my appearance and health going to continue to diminish? Inevitably.

Old or not, I know that I still have a lot to contribute to life. I also know dwelling on the positive and keeping active will help me deal with my aging. I can still be productive and happy.

Accept those body changes with style. As is said, “Focus on what you CAN change, not what you CAN’T”. And, above all, stay away from those mirrors!

Audrey Ruff, Edmonton AB