Hunter Brumfield


In the natural order of things, a parent doesn

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Guest hbrumfield


Having read all the other stories here, I can see how each of us has his or her own unique challenges. I especially admire the women here who went back to their lives and resumed such things as making meals for their families. Really awesome.


I could not imagine that myself, but suspect it's my own self-indulgence that limits me from doing more. I've worked tough jobs since age 14 and now at age 61 am seeing my stroke as a way, an excuse I guess, to ease back a bit. But of course I wouldn't mind having another 10 years or so of easy mobility. I wasn't -- and am not -- finished, dammit.


I am lucky to be in Japan. The Japanese, as you know, have great reverence and respect for the elderly. So that means universal and inexpensive health care, but also more mundane things as smooth sidewalks, automatic doors, and subways with elevators. So you see plenty of folks in electric wheelchairs, like me (if typically a bit older), scooting all over the city.


There's that and a whole lot more.


Say what you want, but life is just better when there are the supports that come with a progressive (by that I mean truly caring) society.


Every one of us thinks we'll enjoy good health forever, and we all take immense pride in being independent and self-sustaining. But there can come a time for all of us when helping an old coot cross the road or opening a heavy door is no longer merely an amusing Boy Scout gesture, or when putting on a shirt with buttons is a challenge, and you know it will not really get any better than this.


But when you experience in 50 different ways that your country's health system is truly trying to look after you, it all gets one heck of a lot easier to accept.


That's where Japan is right now.


It's so good to see that America, my much-beloved home country, is starting to wake up to that.

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