Thoughts

Cindy, Age 71

I am amazed by the strength of women who survive their partner and go on to productive lives, making friends and even reaching for enjoyment. I am blessed to have a wonderful partner. We live with my brother, or rather, he lives with us, a rescue if you will, but a blessing to our lives. We have gown children, two mine and two his, all sons. Wonderful wives and grandchildren. We live on Vancouver Island in Canada and are blessed to have enough income and good health to be comfortable. More than comfortable.

Life has been good for us. We met in our mid forties and have had a lovely, easy relationship, despite a disabled adult son, and the usual travails that beset adult children – divorce and resettlement with new partners.

But I can not imagine how I would cope if I lost my partner. And I wonder how the next decade will play out. We are 71 and 72. Our best years are behind us, in terms of physical capacity. I still love to work, outside and in, but my work sessions are shorter now and less ambitious. We live on acreage and I wonder how we are going to cope with winter storms – two years ago we lost 17 trees in one huge windstorm. It’s a big thing to look at a hundred foot tree that is now down on the ground and your problem.

But we have help – disabled or not, and neighbours who want the wood of our trees and give us salmon and halibut. We miss dances and it looks like another Covid winter without that. I so enjoyed meeting people at the senior centre dances . They were from all over the world and i loved hearing the stories of what brought them here to our small town and our island. I miss that.

I wonder how long this “new normal” will be what is. I am learning about QR codes. I don’t want to have to learn about that, whether for parking or for Covid vaccination proof. it feels like we are getting left behind. Do I need an app for that?

I’ve been an introvert all my life. Relationships always seem expensive. So my plan is to go first. But I know that is naive. People don’t always drop on the floor or die in their sleep. I’ve never feared change but then change was interesting. Now, there is nowhere to go but down.

So I try to live in the moment and enjoy the beautiful September we are having. Hope your month is a good one.

This entry was posted in 70candles, Adaptations and accommodations as we age, Aging, Caretaking, Dealing with loss, Death and dying, Family matters, Loneliness, Looking ahead, Men aging, Widows’ choices and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Thoughts

  1. theresa lasalle says:

    Evelyn

    I look at the week coming…And I plan something daily. For example I will go to a museum on Monday by myself. I call the MET museum in Manhattan “my church” (I’m not religious)Tuesday, I will stay home and do things in the apt. going through stuff and discarding, Wednesday, I will meet a friend and we will find something to do together…dinner, or looking at architecture, Thursday, I will write to some public officials re: issues, etc. Friday, most likely do something by myself or with a friend. Saturday…no plan but do whatever…Sunday, I cook for the week…During these days I also make sure I read (love biographies ..former history teacher here) look at fashion clips. Some people laugh at my planning but it is my best medicine..and then whatever I have planned I try to be so present. Planning and then being present. If my days are loosey goosey…just not good for my psyche. And I exercise to videos 3-5 times a week.

  2. theresa lasalle says:

    Yes, Andrea Mindfulness is such a gift. I never thought of it as a gift…but it certainly is. xo.

  3. theresa lasalle says:

    Dear CIndy,

    Firstly everything you have said I can relate to….I do not have a partner. Divorced about 32 years. I am 73…I was with someone but we broke up 4 years ago…crazy for each other but both dumb in realtionship stuff. I’m one of those who do like commitment. But I miss this guy. He keeps pursuing me for four years now….And even though I wish it could be …the work of relationship is overwhelming to me.
    I lost my best friend three months…Oh my goodness it is hard not to be able to chat with her. A good thing is ex husband is a very good friend. I like his girlfriend. My older son had to move to Atlanta (we are New York City born and raised)..so it was hard for him. However, he lost his job of event planning due to the pandemic. He is now working thank goodness but my grandchild is 2 and I haven’t seen him since he was three months due to pandemic, etc. And my other darling son just old me last week he is moving to San Diego because a job offer in his field…he is so happy about that..but he is beautifully concerned about him being so far away from me…he is the most devoted son. So a lot…so I get through things…in the morning I read have names in a notebook of all the people I care about and I read off their names to myself with the intention of praying for the best physical and mental health of all of them. I sort of deal with the worries by simply praying. (I am not a relgious person, I’m agnostic) so I just pray to the Goodness in the world..)…This helps me during the day as when a worry thought comes in I just say I will deal with that in the morning at the time of my intention praying. If I worry about everything it will paralyze during the day where I will not enjoy reading, art, Nordic films…and more and more I am able to look at a dog in the neighborhood or a kid..and really be right there….Like you and many of those who commented the secret is to live in the moment. Everything is crying out for your attention: the flowers, that building, the smell of that coffee. Girl we’re all in this together….and another thing my girlfriend’s son has said how she copes with stuff..is she said just “trust”. (Forgive me everyone…for improper syntax, misspellings, and the like.)….The Moment…Oh and another thing…I read somewhere….Don’t suffer twice. If something happens, it will happen. So deal with it then. Don’t suffer now. All the what ifs will do you in. It’s a waste of time and good stuff is all around. So don’t suffer twice. Be good to yourself everyone.

  4. Hi Cindy, I am Hanna, 73 years old. Just lost my husband , love of my life at 72, heart attack. We jsut tried to retired in a brand new country and small city, Ajijic, Mexico. He was a professor, we lived in 7 countries with lots of aventure. Planned to cut back work and travel as retirees in the world. He had some health issues,
    lately, which we conquered with victory. Like you, I thought we will go together in 25 years. Like you can control that.

    We met at early 40-es, and spent 28 most wonderful years relentlessly in love. I never expected what happened. He went quickly and in no pain – I just caught his last 2 breath, returning to his office from the kitchen. First thought: I did want to follow him, but the load of computerized paperwork needed someone to deal with: legal issues, lack of good Spanish (he became fluent), renovation in the newly bought house, he could not even live a day, proving identity of a widow still going on. I actually rolled up my sleeves, and trying to do every day one big task. Luckily the community is amazing, and helping to cope.

    Nights are hard. Reading that the near future of grieving is even more crying. I want him back! But yes, mindfulness and facing the truth is the only way to keep one’s positive energy toward recovery. We have to stay alive to help our children, relatives keeping at least one parent showing survival skills. Keep going with hobbies and yes, continue the legacy of or lost one. It is hard sometimes, but worth to push ourselves not giving in.

    Here is something I liked about grief: Gary Sturgis – “Surviving Grief” – https://www.facebook.com/SGrief539/posts/698786764849547

  5. Susan says:

    Mindfulness and living in the woods for many years has helped me live well during Covid. Newly relocated, I do miss my friends and the deep woods. A quieter life by nature. Every day is a gift.

    My thoughts lately are about our planet. The horrors of the self-serving elected/appointed government types and the regime which didn’t end fast enough leave me deeply worried. Yes, worried. Grateful to have been raised by the “greatest generation’ who took responsibility seriously. I take it seriously.

    I am busy volunteering in areas I hope make a difference. 73 is looking good!

    Susan

    • theresa lasalle says:

      My goodness ladies…I do realize “reality”…but I realize ..we are still alive…go out there and do the best you can. I’m in agreement with Susan..73 is looking good….you know the expression…if you can’t change the way things look, change the way you look at them…..So much more out there to do. Also, if you have thrown in the towel…your children and grandchildren are watching you. You are partly responsible as they will view aging. You want them to be as healthy in mind and body when they reach certain ages.

  6. Cindy Williams says:

    Labels don’t define us, do they. We have to find our own way. My tribe is my family but I would like it to be larger. I think, as Covid goes on and on, we need reasons to laugh, and things to look forward to. I miss garden tours – a spring tradition on the island. Maybe next year. And wouldn’t it be nice to think we could have a fun New Years. Covid is going to be a continuing part of our lives. I’m still hoping that, if enough of us get vaccinated, we can get together and have a laugh. I want the grandkids to hug people. I want a normal Hallowe’en for the little ones. I want them not to be afraid of people. My son and I are having conversations about digital literacy. It’s ironic – he’s a computer programmer. Grandkids now don’t understand mail and print subscriptions to magazines like Owl or Chickadee (National Geographic for kids). How fast that has changed.

  7. Andrea says:

    You don’t write like an introvert; however they write. It seems you are surrounded by wonderful people, and isn’t it nice to belong to a tribe? I am a true introvert, and tribes seriously scare me. No close attachments has helped me survive the many covid restrictions in place. My final arrangements are in the forefront of my mind. No ceremony and no celebration helps me feel in control. Minor expense for cremation, and I am good to go. I am thankful for my 75 yrs, but I am getting tired. Mindfulness is such a gift.

  8. Evelyn eskin says:

    Facing the end of life as we know it is the scariest thing I have had to do. Like you, I have decided that the best thing is to enjoy each day and keep a plan in your head for the next phase. Good luck!!

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