Surrounded as I am by friends whose parents are requiring a great deal of attention and care, with a mother-in-law and father each having surgery in the next few weeks, and with not a few health problems of my own, I am well aware that, by the time I am 80 (in only seventeen short years!) I will likely be much more limited in my capabilities and choices than I am now.
My friend Rosa described yesterday the realities of her father's move, first into her home and, imminently, into one of his own, and the sad and stark realization that many of the things she and her husband have planned for these years may not come to pass.
My husband is trying to retire. He is down to 3.5 days a week (which, of course, really means five) and had hoped to sever the ties that bind him to his professional life at the end of June, but has been convinced to stay through the summer. He wants to focus on his competitive running, his pottery, and his soccer coaching ~ all well-earned after forty years of grueling work weeks, many of them for many years away from home.
Two of our children seem to be settling nearby. I had once thought that they would live all over the world and that we would have the pleasure of visiting them in . . . . France? London? locales more distant and exotic to us? But their brother's death has caused us all to converge upon our home like pigeons and, while we are travelling again, we seem unable to imagine a permanent departure.
I know that the next few years will be full . . . work, home repairs, perhaps a wedding, and of course, the needs of our parents . . . . but if I could choose, with what would I fill them? And those, more open to possibilities, which follow?