Paging Ponce de Leon

Once Mother moved to California and rid herself of husband number two (Uncle/Stepdad Kenny), she was ready to set sail for the fountain of youth. She was always seeking ways to lose weight, firm up her body, and look younger. Of course, all of this was to be accomplished without diet, exercise, or surgery. She spent hours at health food stores reading the labels and looking for the magic potion that would solve all her problems.

Postcard from the Fountain of Youth in St. Aug...

That’s right, it wasn’t just about the physical–it was also about solving her emotional issues, in fact it was about solving everything in her life.

One Saturday morning, Mother attended a lecture at one of her favorite health food stores. The woman speaking was 80 years old and she apparently looked about 50. She spoke about making lots of different changes—I’m sure having to do with exercising every day and eating carefully–but of course, Mother heard none of that.

When she got home, Mother called me on the phone and said

I’d like to find out what that woman eats and eat a barrel of it.

And there it was. That was her attitude to everything in a nutshell. Mother was all about excess. She never realized that eating a barrel of anything was going to keep her at the same weight she was now. She was always looking at others and wishing to emulate them without any of the hard work. Her excesses were legendary, and they included food, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Her philosophy was

If one is good, two hundred are better.

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