I always get reflective as the year draws to a close, reminiscing about the good, the bad and the ugly as I pass another 365 days of a life that has entered it last act. There was enjoyment and productivity but also loss and pain. I may feel young in many ways but the truth is, my life is two thirds over. I want to savor each experience as it passes all too quickly. A day in the life swiftly becomes a year in the life.
2014 started off with a bang and a first time experience: a major sailing trip. We coasted through the British Virgin Islands with our friends and had a wonderful time. I took writing classes and mustered the nerve to start my blog which has brought me a great deal of gratification. Forcing myself to write again, on a weekly basis has also given me needed structure. I want to exercise my mind and polish my writing skills. Basically, I gave myself an unpaid job and it is one I approach weekly with relish, much more than I did the one that paid handsomely.
In February we vacationed in California visiting family and friends. Sadly, my ageless and adored 96 year old Mother began to fail. The next few months were focused on caregivers, dialysis, doctors and finally her decision to die with dignity rather than live without quality of life. It was a brave decision and one that was wrenching for all who loved her. Her loss was profound for me, and now with both my parents gone, I experience the solitary feeling of being an orphan. Never have I been more grateful for my husband and children. We over 50 all must experience this passage of life, if we haven’t already. It is deeply sobering to witness the end of an era and realize WE now assume the mantle of the older generation.
The summer passed with me barely noticing, being consumed with grief and mired in the settling of her estate, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Finally as Fall came, I had the great joy to see my older son, have his life take a 180, becoming engaged and landing a new job simultaneously. Now I have almost a whole year to enjoy the anticipation of an event long waited for.
As the year waned, great change appeared on the horizon, with my husband deciding to retire from the dental practice he built 44 years ago. With that came the choice to relocate and have a new start as a couple. Having lived in “her house”, then “his house”, we will now have “our house” and a quieter life in New England. I love that the year ends on a high note and with the promise of new adventures and greater travel together.
That’s in my own little bubble of life. Outside, it is dark and filled with turmoil. I can’t remember a year filled with more acts of terror, hatred and bigoted behavior. I have to ration my viewing of the nightly news as each 24 hour cycle brings more outrageous acts. It is a major effort not to be dispirited by the state of the affairs. I am increasingly less comfortable in the world.
But we continue to hope for the white hats and peace to prevail. Especially at holiday time, we think of and contribute toward those less fortunate. We try to face the last third of our lives with hope and enthusiasm for what we have. And hold our loved ones very,very close.