Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The One You’re With

By Carly Pete
In Loving Memory of
MaryLynn Conrad
11/4/55 - 2/16/15

I don’t like too many complications or too much expense when it comes to my hair, so I still choose natural styles.

Recently, I had a conversation with some of you about whether I should let my hair go gray because I was getting tired of coloring it, especially with locs because it damages them. Now, if I could end up with beautiful silver locks like Toni Morrison – that could be worth it – going gray, I mean. But, no, gray hair is just not for me, not yet, as my hair is more like salt and pepper steel wool at this age.

Of course, I colored it. Because I realized the real issue I feel and the one that’s really been on my mind more lately, again, and which ends where all roads must end for us all, is aging.

Since I was six years old, aging and death have played out a beautifully tragic consciousness in my life: The only way I’ve ever learned to cope with death is by turning aging into living, to live ‘til I die, sometimes moment by moment, as gracefully and gratefully as I can – but first, to live, as most things in life are choices, and all choices have risks.
Tammy Hardin (l) with Jessie Mabe
 Go Red Event, Salem College

Friday afternoon February 13, 2015 on the eve of Valentine’s Day, Tammy Hardin, a friend, and not-for-profit management major at Salem College, hosted a Go Red event attended by faculty, staff, and alumnae in Huber Theater of the college’s new student activity center. February is American Heart Month, and Tammy was recently diagnosed with heart disease. My own mother, Abbie Peterson, died from rheumatic heart disease, non-hereditary illness, complicated by diabetes, which I inherited and have managed for the last 14 years.

“Nine out of ten women, that’s 90%, suffer from heart disease or stroke at some point in their lives,” Tammy informed us. “One in three women dies, more than all cancers combined,” she said. “But, the good news is, eighty percent of these deaths are preventable.”

WomenHeart of the Piedmont Triad hosts a monthly support group for women living with heart disease. Meetings are held every second Wednesday at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro. Lunch is provided. No registration is required. For more information, please contact womenheart@conehealth.com.

Ladies, you’re the one who is always with you and the one you should always love and take care of first. Please, if you’re 50 or older, get the pneumonia vaccine; I got mine yesterday.

Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Thanks for listening.

Carly Pete

About Carly Pete: Carly, a 2013 graduate of Salem College, earned B.A. degrees in Communication and Creative Writing. She resides in Winston-Salem, where she works as a communication consultant, lyricist and writer.

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