I'm Honey!

As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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From Chivas Regal to Ensure: The Transitions of a Charmed Life

Honey, Shelly, and America Good on their sofa

Can a wife continue to live a charmed life when her husband is aging and ill? The obvious answer is no. I became the wife who finds herself suddenly serving her ultimate concierge a glass of chocolate or vanilla Ensure or a smoothie (I am now the queen of smoothies!) instead of a smooth Chivas Regal. 

Many times over this past year, I tried to put my thoughts on paper. I couldn’t because I did not have a clear vision of my path. It was the first night of Hanukkah, Thursday, December 7, 2023, that I was able to place my fingers on the keyboard of my beloved Apple to tell my story in the hope that I would be of some help to others facing my situation.

Yesterday, my ultimate concierge had his second surgery in five weeks. The first surgery was a hip replacement for a broken hip. The second was to repair his aortic valve, which had been an issue for the past year. He survived both surgeries. I knew he would because he knows I need him! My husband is an amazing caretaker and if I need him, he is there.

“You start where you are to get your life where you want it to be.” — Honey Good

I knew he would because I would not think any other way. Though I will light the Hanukkah candles alone for the first time in my life, I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am celebrating because my ultimate concierge made it through the rain.

During this past year, my life went from my Zippity Do Da attitude and a grateful one to the sky has fallen. I can attest it is a sad and lonely time in a woman’s life when she wakes up to the realization that her life has changed big time. Joy is replaced with worry. Happy occasions are replaced with doctor appointments. Delicious foods are replaced with pills and Ensure. Nights out laughing with friends are a thing of the past. 

My New Philosophy on Life 

Contentment shines as Honey Good hands her husband a glass of milk

What happens to a wife’s psyche when she realizes that her normal, rich, full, meaningful, and manageable life has become overwrought with worry for her love and coupled with a new set of demands? 

My answer is that it depends on a woman’s coping mechanism. 

How does she resign herself to her new lifestyle — one of struggling to find her new role when the sparkle of everyday life is gone? 

After months of finding myself faced with new situations and months of soul searching, I have lived into my answer. This is why I am finally able to share my thoughts with you.

Here’s my new philosophy:

“You start where you are to get your life where you want it to be.”

It is not an easy journey. Remember, all men are little boys, and when illness hits, you become their mouthpiece. And, a roaring mouthpiece I became. Nothing got by me. I was Inspector Clouseau.

Self-Love and Self-Compassion

Here’s where I went wrong — I forgot to remember that I counted.

Remember, sweet reader, you count. Self-love and self-compassion are important — you must show yourself love. Self-judgment should not be overly exaggerated. It is not a selfish mission to want to take care of yourself. It is a healthy one. I failed big time and learned the hard way.

Why Self-Love Is a Must

When my ultimate concierge was wheeled into surgery for his valve replacement, I was missing in action because I was lying in bed with Covid, a 100-degree temperature, chills, a runny nose, and a cough. I was ill when my ultimate concierge needed me by his side because I did not take care of myself. All of my mental and physical energy went into his care, so I was spent. Ultimately, I caved.

As I look back on how I spent my private time, my personal time, one word comes to mind — rushing. And, having spent many years of living in Honolulu rushing is not my style. Shelly was always in the front of my mind. I rushed to pilates to rush home to Shelly. Every time I rushed to the market, I raced down the aisles. I rushed to have a manicure and pedicure, always feeling uneasy about leaving Shelly. 

At times I turned down time with friends to be home with Shelly. I rushed out to buy gifts, a joy I loved. I would forget I had a date. Anything and everything I did for myself was a rush, rush, rush. 

It was exhausting. Nothing in my life was carefree any longer. I could not sleep. Constantly, I worried about the what-ifs. I would remind myself of things I wanted to tell his doctor and then get up to make a note. My mind was always on prescriptions that needed picking up and appointments that had to be made or changed. I have now worried and rushed for almost 364 days. My ultimate concierge’s health and lifestyle were always foremost on my mind. 

As I lay in bed with Covid I have finally acknowledged that I can no longer rush. I just don’t have the strength. And, truth be told, I feel a load lifted off of me and I feel relief from pressure. Now I will take time to take a hot bath and enjoy reading a book without rushing through the pages. 

I will… 

  • light my beautiful candles.
  • cut my hair with my kitchen scissors with precision.
  • play my mindful music.
  • brush America.
  • return to the joy of answering you on my private Facebook groups, Celebrate Life and Sisters in Widowhood.
  • call a friend.
  • remember it is important to remember myself.


The ‘Honey’ Must-Dos

Honey and Shelly Good smiling with African mask, safe travel after 50

#1.Be your husband’s advocate, his voice. 

Remember, as I stated above, our men are all little boys. They need us and deserve us. We are their Florence Nightingale.

I was my ultimate concierge’s advocate to the point that the doctors, who are older men, wanted me for a wife! They all called me at home to report!!! I am smiling. And the nurses wanted me as their mom! Nothing got past me. 

I listened to every word. I watched the machines. I never took a no for an answer from any doctor. I asked question upon question. I never left my husband’s side at his appointments. I ordered all meds. I hung on the phone for what seemed like an eternity to make appointments and slept in a chair in the hospital for six nights when my ultimate concierge had hip replacement surgery.  

My ultimate concierge needed me to be his voice, and I rose to the occasion. You must do the same, but remember, take personal time to smell the roses and respect your limits. I did neither. I learned the hard way. You can learn from my mistake.

#2 Shifting thoughts to coexist with life changes.

We are all aware there is an immediate life change when illness coupled with aging strikes. You have to learn to coexist with this life change. I am learning that every problem is solvable yet there is not always an instant answer. You will have to shift your thoughts; do not be in denial. 

I have spent hours thinking about my ultimate concierge and his medical problems. Truth be told, I have not totally lived into the answers of how to shift our life into a new passage and do it successfully. But I have ideas that I hope to turn into reality. 

My new reality will depend on my ultimate concierge’s health now that he has had the valve replacement and a hip replacement. The jury is still out.

But I do have my philosophy on life.

Is It Time for a New Philosophy on Life?

Shelly Good and Honey sex and communication after 50

Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a dancing adventure or nothing.” If she can say that with her complications, I can say that with mine. 

I would advise every woman in my situation to find an outside avenue that lights her fire. Go back to school for a course or join a group where ‘you fit.’ Exercise even if it does not light your fire! 

In other words, continue to be involved in your personal life. Don’t shut yourself away from the world. Don’t let the illness of a spouse affect every hour of every day of your life. Build a fence around the problem. Keep it contained. And remember, you and your spouse or partner can still dance, only differently. 

I have my downtimes as I try and make sense of the ‘new now.’  I would be lying if I told you I did not wish for the past. I am sad. I am bewildered, I am scared but I am resolved and positive that I will find my footing, a new light that will make every day a gift for me and my ultimate concierge.  

I am…

Making plans that will fill our cups. You can do it. I am thinking of traveling with my ultimate concierge in a gentler manner. I am thinking about joining two groups for myself that pique my fancy. 

I visualize my thoughts and then put my ideas on paper. I do my homework and put resolve into practice. You should practice this, too. 

You cannot live into your answers overnight, but I can guarantee you will have your ah-ha moment, and the pieces of the puzzle will fit. Thinking out your thoughts takes a great amount of time. Putting your final answers into practice takes moments. 

What I’ve Learned and My Advice to You

Take care of your body to make it last a long lifetime. Eat better than you did yesterday. Take your vitamins. Wear sunblock. Be proactive about your health. Drink water – it is the fountain of youth. Put down your thoughts on paper. Have girlfriends. Play music. Take your time to dance to your own drummer.

Take risks. Never let fear stop you from living. Put your thoughts in writing.

Have multigenerational role models. I have women friends of all ages in my life. They are the only type of women I admire. Welcome women into your life with purpose, women you look up to. Repurpose those who bore you, who disappoint you, who travel on a different life path and cannot sustain you. Make a list of women to keep or to toss, and just do it.

Speak to your spiritual side. I think it is important to identify more with your inner self. It does not grow older. It grows wiser. This is a favorite rule.

Make plans. Set goals and aim for positive resolutions. 

And lastly but firstly, commit yourself to being the best version of yourself to your partner. That is a personal gift you give to yourself.  

As I close this musing, these are my thoughts: 

If it is Ensure. It will be Ensure. I will handle it. If it is Chivas… bring out the band! 

Whatever it is… I will do my best to make my ultimate concierges and my cup run over. Amen.

What are your best tips for dealing with transitions like these? Please share with me in the comments.



December 10, 2023

Passages After 50, Relationships, Self Care

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  1. DeeDee says:

    Oh my you have touched my soul with your words today. Firstly let me say many hugs and wishes for lots of strength as you travel this journey.
    Secondly you have stated exactly how I have felt for the last two years. And I have questioned myself why I am so physically and mentally exhausted from being a caretaker. Yes one does close themselves off from friends and many family. I feel a sense of guilt when I leave him but I do force myself to go out for lunch with a select few friends perhaps once a month.
    I do question how others preserve day to day. We will experience a second surgery next week and then a third surgery in the spring 24.
    Any yes it is hard to find joy in the things I love to do. I find myself living with a dark cloud over my head. My prayers are for you and Shelly to recover from this bump in the road and enjoy each day. And thank you for sharing your experiences, you have touched my soul.

    • Susan Good says:

      A reader wrote to me to say, FOR NOW. In other words what you are experiencing with your husband is FOR NOW. These two words give both of us hope. Right? Happy New Year. Wishing you good health and happiness in 2024. Warmly, Honey

  2. DeRita Vitto says:

    Good morning honey I thoroughly enjoyed your article you are so inspiring you speak straight from the bottom of your heart which makes it so inspirational I know for certain you have helped me transition to where I am now I’ve been a little for a long time but I love my life and I’m always trying to find new things to recreate it and you’ve been a help for me each and every step of the way so like you said just keep going inspiring yourself and others and have a great attitude doing it thank you love love

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I am SO happy I can be of help. What a compliment. Happy New Year! Blessings to you in 2024. Warmly, Honey

  3. DeRita Vitto says:

    Hi honey I did send an email I’m not sure if you received it or not sometime my cell phone just does what it wants to LOL, 😊

  4. Gayle says:

    I am presently 77 years young and grew up in a family of 11. I married at 22 and had 2 daughters and I have found that the way to get through all the trials & tribulations that we all encounter throughout our journey is to just continue saying after each one “FOR NOW.” as I learned first hand nothing lasts forever so whatever your situation is presently, IT WILL CHANGE. So when your in your darkest moments always say to yourself, FOR NOW and keep going…

    • Susan Good says:

      I adore what you taught me. FOR NOW. I must remember your words. They give me hope. Thank you so very much. Happy and Healthy New Year, Gayle. Warmly, Honey

  5. Karen Jackson says:

    Great advice! Try not to worry, it is not going to change things and it adds to the lines on your face 😉.
    I am sorry to hear about all that you two have been going through.
    My husband was diagnosed with short term memory loss five years ago and was forced to retire at 70 from a job and customers that he cared about. I was 63 and teaching school. His diagnosis has not gotten worse and he can stay home alone without my being concerned. We have a system in which I leave cards with “jobs” for him to do each day, he turns the card over when the job is complete.
    I believe in the power of prayer, it is a constant in my day. Life and our relationship have definitely changed, which saddens me. But, I am ever thankful for where we are because IT COULD BE WORSE. I know that God is good ALL the time and all the time God IS good!

  6. Sandrala says:

    My heart goes out to you! Keep the faith. All this will pass. Live in the answer as much as possible. I am having tough time w/ concussion; I am single & dialysis patient for 6 yrs. Thank you for sharing. Lots of folks LOVE you, appreciate you! Happy Holidays from Sandrala.

  7. Diana Purser says:

    Thank you, Honey, for this heartfelt piece. You are an inspiration. Big hugs to you and Shelly. Sending you love!

  8. Maria says:

    Thank you for this eloquent piece, Honey. I can so relate to it. My husband has early stage dementia & I find spending a lot of time doing thing for him as the disease progresses. I can’t leave him alone for more than a few hours. What helps me get through each challenging day is to not let taking care of myself go by the wayside. I continue with my organizational activities, I continue to get together with friends, but above all I practice an attitude of gratitude. He is still with me, I’m healthy, I live in a beautiful place. I wish Shelly my best for continuing as good a life as you can both make it.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you, Maria. I am sorry you are having problems. I know the feeling. I am very sad today. Tomorrow will be better. I will give Shelly your best. You are doing what you should do. You are a role model. Warmly, Honey

  9. Sharon Zinn says:

    Honey! Thank you as always for a wonderful article that resonates with all seniors. My Concierge and I discuss “ what ifs”, we know each other wishes , we have more discussed “ if one becomes ill”. Neither can image! This was so insightful and inspiring. Good for thought . As my Concierge always says” every problem has a solution “. Best wishes to your precious husband and to you . Happy Hanukkah, I shall think of you both when lighting our candles, as all hostages. Stay strong dear one, we all need your wisdom. Best regards, Sharon ZInn ❤️

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Carolyn. Getting sick is not for sissies. You can plan. You can think wisely but you cannot control emotion when illness strikes. Sadness and fear cannot be controlled but hope can help weathers the storm. Happy new Year to you and your family. Warmly, Honey

  10. Carolyn Baum says:

    My heart is with you, in this very tough time. If I can add only one small thought. Just Be. Just be with your precious husband in this time. Just be with yourself.

  11. patricia nisenholz says:

    Honey ~ as I read thru this the Quote by Plato jumped out ~
    “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”. In some ways, you remind me of ME.. in that from the outside, you would never know what is going on inside. I have lived my life thus far with “act as if”… not so sure this has been the best advice. Then again…. you have shown us the options by typing your thoughts. I will not worry about you fully until I see or read you are not sporting RED LIPSTICK! Refulah Shema to Shelley and to you covid wise.

    • Susan Good says:

      I am smiling. My first smile of the day at 6:28 am on Sunday. As we grow wiser we become more in tune with our being. Yes, I smile when I am sad because I am being true to myself.I know no one wants to be around misery so though I am inwardly sad, I am being honest with myself. On the other hand, if I am in a group that has a different opinion than mine…I do not smile. I speak out and that is what I think you are talking about. Speak your piece in a calm manner Patti. Don’t hide behind a smile. You are smart.Also, choose to be around women who think like you think. Then you can really smile. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey

  12. Terry says:

    I have always been a huge believer that our lives are made of different seasons. We have our growing up years with our family of birth, our “spread our wings” phase as college students, young married phase, the parenting phase, the empty nester phase, middle age and finally the slowing down and turning inward phase that comes with aging. I have always embraced each phase, enjoying what it offers. There are challenges with every phase of life, but I believe the positives far outweighs said challenges. As we enter into the final phase – slowing down, health issues, turning inward – I look at the beauty of precious memories, being present for one another during this time, taking care of one another, and being grateful for a full life.

  13. Madeleine Costello says:

    Dear Honey Susie:
    I am sorry to know what you have been enduring and completely understand. I have been on your path and I want you to know how wonderful and loving and caring and kind you are. Keep doing and caring for your love but do the same for yourself. I wish you and Shelly better health and continued love and happiness. Tight hugs and much compassion, Madeleine Sawyer Costello

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Madeleine, I see your beautiful face in front of me with your glorious smile. I hope you are smiling now, that you have found your footing after the loss of Alan and that your daughters are giving you some joy. Happy New Year and thank you for your warm message. Love, Honey

  14. Anna says:

    Thank you for this post. While the reality is sobering the fact that you are courageously navigating through it and making adjustments to your life as needed is very inspiring and encouraging when my own situation changes in a few years. I especially agree with your suggestion to have multigenerational friendships because it is comforting to know that others have walked the path before and survived.

    • Susan Good says:

      I am glad I touched you and you like my suggestions. Life is like a stream of fresh water. When all is well we float down it. When the going gets difficult we have to learn how to swim upstream so we do not drown. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey

  15. Penny says:

    Thank You, for blessing me with your wisdom.
    I think sharing is part of your wisdom that God gave you.
    Keep Teaching us!

    • Susan Good says:

      WOW! What a compliment. Thank you. i write from my heart and I am unafraid to share my personal feelings. We are all our own person but we all bleed the same. To be able to share my learned wisdom fulfills me. Happy New Year, Penny! Warmly, Honey

  16. Janet Hart says:

    Your missive was sooo inspiring and a tribute to your strength and positivity.
    Having been through the very situation you are now in I wish you well.
    You have generously given others some wise words.
    Thank you for all that you so generously share.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Janet. I wish you and yours a joyful and healthy New Year. Warmly, Honey

  17. Susan, you are my hero!
    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful words of encouragement and advice. There are so many out there that need to hear them. One is my daughter, who is going through the same experience although her husband is much younger, he was suddenly stricken with an auto-immune disease that may take his life.
    We’re pulling for you and your ultimate concierge and wishing you both many years of happiness!

    • Susan Good says:

      A lovely name from the past. How special that you took your time to write to me. And, I am overly taken a back by your lovely compliment. Thank you so much. I am so sorry to learn of your family situation. Your daughter has a big role to handle. She is her husband’s inspiration. Thank you for your good wishes concerning my ultimate concierge. I send my heartfelt good wishes to your daughter and son in law. If you ever have a blank spot in your magazine I would love to write an article or send my story on Chevis. I hope the New Year brings you and your family many ounces of joy. Warmly and in friendship, Susan

  18. GiGi says:

    My beloved and healthy husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer 1 year ago. It has been a journey much as you described. I would like to add that we “live in the moment. “ We don’t know if we have tomorrow but we are not going to waste our time today dwelling on that. If so, then we have lost today and tomorrow! My new saying is “It is what it is”. We make the best of everything we can and try to keep our routines as normal as possible.

    • Susan Good says:

      You have earned a five star in front of your name for your wisdom. Thank you for your thoughts. One day at a time….Warmly, Honey

  19. Linda says:

    Thank you so much Honey. I’ve felt so bad these past 2 years because of my life changing. You make me feel it is normal. I am going to follow what you said. Much good health to to you and your hubby !!

  20. Diana Banks says:

    Beautifully said about a stressful and challenging season of life! I too have been dealing with Covid which possibly came about through a weakened immune system due to stress.
    I find help in focusing on the present day or moment…not grieving or living in the past season that will never be again…or fearing the future with all the “what ifs” and all the “not knowing”…or thoughts of “the best of life being behind me”. I arrest those thoughts and focus on my gratitude list.
    When it comes to spiraling or rambling thoughts…I can’t stop birds from flying over my head; but I can certainly stop them from making a nest in my hair!

    Sending love,
    Diana Banks

  21. Virginia says:

    Thank you! I so needed to hear this.
    May you and your man live in peace.

  22. Dear, lovely Honey,
    My heart and prayers are with you. Last year, I was in a very similar situation with my dear husband. I can relate to your story and experiences completely. When others doubted my husband would survive his illness, I lived in the moment and did what was necessary and held tightly to hope. We were blessed, and after several months, he recovered. I then realized Self care was in order for myself.
    God bless you, Honey. And, prayers of recovery for your dear Shelly.

    • Susan Good says:

      I am praying and trying to do everything in my power to help my darling ultimate concierge.He has had so much to deal with but I am still holding out for Chevis! Happy New Year. Sending friendship and blessings. Warmly, Honey

  23. Helen Carol Ann Matthews says:

    Thank you, you are an inspiration! I wish you both a wonderful 2024.

  24. Joy Heartfield says:

    I find staying positive and not letting my joy be stolen by anyone or anything. Some days are harder than others but I strive for positivity and joy fullness everyday. Your words are wise words, Honey and I plan on reading & rereading!!
    Your friend with a thankful heart,
    Joy Heartfield

    • Susan Good says:

      I have to reread my own words when I get down over my ultimate concierge’s illness! Thank you for appreciating my words. I am glad you strive. So do I. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey

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