It’s almost eight years since my amazing husband Sig passed away. I will love him for the rest of my life. He doesn’t even have to be here for me to continue to feel this way. Thankfully, I am coasting on all our shared memories we made over decades. He was my best friend, and I am fortunate enough to have had many other friends over my lifetime. But the saddest thing about the aging process is that slowly, but surely, we begin to lose the people we love and admire. They move away, change jobs and die.
I still communicate with grammar and high school friends and the many friends I’ve met throughout my life. At 76, I know how to recognize someone that I might like to invite into my life. I have given teas and lunches for my lady friends for over forty years. Those teas became the place where I and friends came to re-charge our batteries. We talked about everything from soup to nuts but never men. We laughed and cried together and taught each other how to navigate the rough patches.
When we get married, we exchange vows and say, “Till death do us part”. Of course when this as written, people only lived into what we call middle age. The longer we are together, the more we understand who we are, who are spouses are and if we’re still on the same page! After 25 years together, that’s when the love part really has to kick in. There are no illusions about one another and if you’re lucky you still remember what made you pick your mate.
If you go back five years and remember what seemed important, and go back another five years and so forth, you will come to understand that the things you felt so strongly about have diminished and no longer are part of your belief system. It’s really a good thing if you feel good in your own skin, and know how to share your space and have no expectations of the people you love and admire. I have the right to ask, and you have the right to say no and I take this right for myself. That’s my personal can’t miss system for the friendships I have. It took me a while to understand that being able to say no to anyone was a necessity.
The last luncheon I gave was for a dear friend who is moving to Texas. I used to have 12 to 14 people come for teas. The last one was attended by four people including me! So many of my friends have passed away or moved away, and some suffer from Alzheimer’s and conversations just don’t happen. And, I don’t know which is worse of those three things.
Personally, I’m going for quality of life, not quantity. I want to be around as long as I can get around and make it to the john!