TV. The Gift That Keeps on Giving. Even at 91.

011A close friend of mine recently lost her husband. He was 91, and she’s 91. Imagine living over six decades with one person. That’s six decades of set routines – suddenly gone.

I want to help her with the big transition period ahead. One change will be her taking over the responsibilities he held in their relationship. For whatever reasons, he paid the bills and did the grocery shopping. Now she has to do them. Picture yourself being 91 and suddenly having crucial things to do you’ve rarely, if ever, done.

Apparently, another thing her husband did was take full responsibility of the TV and the remote control unit (maybe not surprising, but unfortunate).

As I sat in front of the TV set with her, she looked overwhelmed, confused about what the 53 buttons on the remote did. Apparently, her husband never showed her.

“All I know is he watched channel 4, 7 and 13,” she said.

I scrolled quickly through the channels. “Did you know you have 120 channels on your cable subscription?”

“I do?”


“What on Earth is on all those channels? Why are there so many?” (Good question, but I withheld commentary).

“Let’s find out.” (Of course, I already knew most of the channels by heart, but sensed this could be a lot of fun hopping on board her TV excitement bandwagon. Ten years ago, my new and modern TV experience had been sheer ecstasy.)

“Well, did you know Channel 35 is twenty-four hours of weather?”

“Oh – how wonderful. I’ll always want to watch that.”

“But there’s more. Channels 39 through 43 – all movies.”

“You’re kidding. I never knew we had movies on our set.”

“Do you like animals?”

“There’s an animal station?”

“Animal Planet.”

“Oh, oh, let me write that down right … what number is it?”


But when she heard about The Country Music Channel, she nearly danced in her recliner.

At one time not long ago, there were only a few channels to watch. Then, with cable, everybody went ga-ga over the gazillions from which one could choose. But, over the years, we all became disappointed and annoyed how little good quality programming existed on those channels.

May my friend live many more happy days exploring some of the pleasures missed that we’ve experienced – even taken for granted – for years.

And to spouses of all ages – get on the ball – and spread the joy around.


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