by Phoebe Maurer
Suddenly we have arrived at the next chapter in our lives, a time that offers change and challenge. This was a topic we discussed with close friends, thinking ahead to advanced years that we could not imagine. We were middle aged, strong, working, playing, travelling and sort of smug, though not too complacent.
We all painfully watched the slow deterioration of our parents, to shield them from feeling insecure and undignified. We keep their memories and persona alive in pictures scattered around our home. Shards of their personalities live within us. This is their immortality.
Now that our youthful bodies have betrayed us, how do we proceed with our lives? The mind of my beloved husband has been losing his visions of what was, but tries mightily to prevent further deterioration. It is my number one consideration. Should it prevent me from exploring and using creative talents to expand the scope of my interests? Eighty nine years of living, nurturing three children, facing the ups and downs of a good life, has enabled me to develop many qualities that are appreciated. I observe new situations objectively with a modicum of wisdom that enables me to understand people.
We are now the elder generation who deeply appreciate our devoted family, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who light up our daily living with their generous love, concern and good humor. I never forget the importance of friends, old and new, that give me joy in knowing that we share our longevity.
I will not say this is our last chapter, for I truly believe each new day is an opportunity to grow and change. It takes courage.