In the Know ;
WHAT I REALLY KNOW
Right after turning 50,
I began to feel short of breath
when walking up stairs. I
couldn’t seem to convince
my doctors that my breath-
ing problems were anything
other than signs of stress.
But months later I found my-
self in an ambulance, riding
to a major trauma hospital
for open-heart surgery. Four
days later, I regained consciousness only to learn
that a mid-surgery stroke had significantly im-
paired my vision.
That meant I could no longer do the very things
that had defined me: work at my family’s mortgage
About Turning Points By Beverly Morrone Haller, Bethesda, Md.
company; drive my teenage daughter;
even sing with my church choir, because
I couldn’t read the music.
Ten years later, I’ve had big changes
in my life. To be near public transporta-
tion, my husband and I moved to the
edge of Washington, D.C. Now we take
weekly trips downtown to do the tour-
ist stuff we never used to make time for.
And I’ve made many more friends be-
cause I have to ask for rides. I’ve taken
vacations with high school girlfriends to see mu-
sicals in Chicago and traveled to New York to see
a close friend sing with the Metropolitan Opera.
Unable to work, I volunteered for activities I never
thought I would: directing a 150-person Christ-
mas pageant and leading sing-alongs at a local
Beverly Morrone Haller
; YOUR TURN! Tell us what you really
know about weddings. E-mail your essay of up
to 400 words to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to “What
I Really Know,” AARP Bulletin, 601 E St. N. W., Washington,
DC 20049. Please include your name, phone number and
e-mail address. Volume of submissions prevents us from
responding to all of them.