A FUTURE? -- AT MY AGE?
From one July to the next……what a year it has been. In the last few days I have noted the first anniversary of Her passing, and remembered what would have been our 63rd anniversary.
It is that remembering which has me thinking thoughts I wouldn’t normally share in such a public way. Yet a part of me wants to shout about it from the highest hill.
You see, She’s been gone a year now, and there is still an empty space inside me. There always will be. Yet She had been so insistent that I must “Carry on.” Those were Her firm instructions. But what did they mean? How can I do that?
I realize that I won’t replace Her love, or my love for Her. What we had won’t change. For more than 67 years we experienced what seems to me the complete cycle of love.
As youngsters we knew the excitement of passionate, romantic love. In time we fulfilled our naturally mandated role in continuing the species. As adults we launched our children on their own life adventures.
Along the way I learned my own life lessons ……that material success and status do not produce the satisfaction they promise. Though I may have been a slow learner, I believe that in time I became a more authentic husband and father.
Best of all, we grew old together, helping each other along the way……each of us supporting the other as we shaped the interests that kept us alive and involved.
And then came the time, as it does in any enduring relationship, when one of us moved on to the next plateau, and the other was left to make his way.
In Her absence I still manage to visit with Her most every day. (Some habits are hard to break.) At the same time I wonder how I can know for sure that we are still connecting. Am I actually reaching Her? Is there any way She can reach me when I need Her?
Lately, in my blogging I have mentioned that I want to use my remaining days or years, this time I have alone, in the best way possible. How can I know what those ways are? What do I owe Her……..and myself?
In this new world of mine I have no interest in replacing what was……that life of young love, raising a family, becoming the adults we were, having a career. Like anyone my age all that is part of my past.
You see, I have reached a new place in life, considering a new future that many of us older folks face……dealing with the challenges of late-life, especially the day after day routine of life lived alone. The question has become, how will I deal with this new place?
WHAT IF I was thinking about a future that includes someone to share these last miles with me, someone I care about, who cares about me……perhaps someone who is facing her own late-life challenges.
For 67 years that soulmate of mine was my lover and Best Friend. But it seems that my priorities have changed. Years ago, in the final pages of the story I titled Best Friends and Promises, Aaron Peck found himself admitting, “At this stage of life I need a Best Friend more than I need a lover.” How prophetic is that? Here I am, living out my own fiction.
So what about the “someone” I have in mind, that ‘Best Friend’ I want in my life? What if we decide that the two of us don’t have to be together all the time? We certainly don’t need to live together. I, for one, am not ready or able to be a caretaker, any more than I can expect someone to take care of me
But I do believe that being in that Best Friend relationship with a special someone works for me. Is it enough that our connection is nurtured and sustained by emails, phone calls, and occasional visits?
I believe it is. Time will tell.