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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 © | Year Posted 2021




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Date: 7/24/2021 12:43:00 PM
a very poignant poem, barbara! i am sorry to hear that your husband didn't really get to enjoy living in your new place for very long. your poem describes a reality most people (including me!) don't really deal with too well, but you've expressed all the questions very beautifully...
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Barbara Peckham
Date: 7/24/2021 7:31:00 PM
I am very sure this experience is pretty universal in old people. We were 89 just turning 90, and I am now 92. They were hard questions, and we had to consider carefully what was best for both of us and the rest of the family. Although I miss my old home and neighborhood and friends, this is the right place for me to be, and one might as well be happy as miserable, right? Thanks for your lovely comment.