Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Settling and Trying to End on Cape Cod

Having dinner with an elderly neighbor last evening provoked an interesting conversation about how so many of us end up out here on this beautiful arm of land. We both ended up here because of romantic memories of childhood and teenaged visits to the beaches and beauty. Somehow hoping to recapture those idyllic times, we got husbands to move here, only to find that it may be wonderful for a time but life changes, jobs are scarce and when a partner is gone, it is the loneliest place, even more so, when age makes getting around difficult. My neighbor is so lonely and so far from children and many friends have died. Her husband was the much loved manager of the building where I work and he became part of our work family, so after he died, we continued to be friends with his wife. Twenty years separate us in age but we have so much to talk about and share. Last night we laughed and we cried seems she is just now beginning to feel the grief of her husband's death two years ago. She probably should move closer to a son or a daughter but it would mean leaving all the familiar places and giving up the bit of autonomy she has left. It is almost as if she waited too long to make a move. Should there be more of a plan in place for our later years? It is not always possible to do that.
Having been bankrupted by failed marriages, I find myself in this beautiful place, having to work full-time(not that I do not LOVE my job) to keep afloat. Living in "shangri-la" is expensive, fantastic and very scary alone. I worry about being a burden to my children.
If I have the possibility of starting a new life with someone do I risk it? My neighbor has gone beyond that option.

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