This week two of my girlfriends have birthdays. One is younger than I; the other just a few months older.
The younger woman is part of a small group of friends here in my community. We enjoy our times together – lots of laughing, story-telling, wine imbibing. These women are wise and compassionate, and have been mainstays in my life since losing Rick. They lift me up in this new stage of life.
My other friend is a college classmate with whom I talk almost weekly and see periodically. College is now a distant chapter, so our conversations revolve around the present. I value her intelligence, good manners and kindness.
Nurture vs. nature. Genes vs. environment. How much longer will I live? Rick was active and healthy. He took after his long-living maternal side – he easily should have lived another 15 or more years and perhaps even reached 100. I look at my own family history and wonder if I have just 10 years left, dying at my mother’s age, or if I will make it into another decade as did my father. What are the implications?
If I only have another decade, how do I want to live? Does it even matter?
If I have another decade (or more) to live, how do I want to live? It matters!
The grief of losing my husband paralyzed me for a time. I struggled to put together a list of activities to try, which I’ll share in another blog. I read books about widowhood, starting over as a single woman, finding oneself. I engaged a therapist. It is so much easier to not take responsibility for self-exploration and growth, but simply to drift along – but I have jumped into new ventures and this blog is one of them.