That Last Stretch of Road
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I wrote this a few years aago before my husband and I moved from Martha's Vineyard to Omaha to a senior living residence to be closer to family. He died four months after we moved here, but I am lucky to live near my daughter now.
We are lucky enough to grow old
with the two of us still together,
but we’ve come to a fork in the road
that’s different from others we’ve weathered.
For this time there isn’t a choice
of a road that’s less traveled or more.
There are myriad branches ahead
and no signs to tell what is in store.
Can we purchase a ramp for our home
so we can remain living here?
Should we put our house on the market
while both of our minds are still clear?
Can one of us care for the other,
and how long can the caregiving last?
Is it time to give up independence,
To let go of events of our past?
As standing and walking is harder,
and need of assistance grows clear,
will we suffer or simply slow down
as our time of departing grows near?
We don’t want to live with the children -
they’re scattered all over the place.
They’ve kids of their own and grandkids
and none have accessible space.
Right now, do we need senior living
or assisted, or nursing or what?
What on earth will we do with our stuff
And all the mementoes we’ve got?
Which of the paths will we take,
and where will we journey from here?
As hard as I try I can’t answer,
for no simple direction comes clear.
I guess in the meantime I’d better
start shedding the “things” of life’s load
to prepare for whatever befalls
as we travel that last stretch of road.
Copyright © Barbara Peckham | Year Posted 2021
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