Living along the borders

The Ladies Who Lunch were The Ladies Who Brunch yesterday. We were a small group, only four, because three of the group are traveling. Two are on pleasure trips, and the third is headed to New Mexico for an uncle’s funeral. We changed our time to meet because one of the gals needed to drive to Los Angeles to be with her parents who are in declining health. An older sister is making the big move into the parents’ home to be there for them, something my friend cannot do. These are the border years.

For most of our life, we have all been busy with raising our children, going to our jobs, taking part in the community. The heart of life. Now, though, in retirement, we are seeing the borders of life. Being available to care for grandchildren. The decline, and eventual death of parents. A series of health problems that limit activities. The border activities that we never noticed when we were in the heart of life, busy, successful, creative. Care-giving, decline, illness, loss, fill in the days. Concerns for what the future will hold take precedent over our accomplishments. As we live along the borders, there are fewer successes.

We find delight in small pleasures, like a couple of hours spent with friends over good food. We commiserate with one another about the trials of the border life. We recollect our memories of those inland years, so busy, so productive. We share many of those memories. Now we tread carefully towards the borders where we’ve not been before. A few have gone ahead and tell us what they have seen. We will need energy and stamina, but those seem less and less as we reach the border.

We cannot turn back. We will share our experiences. We will continue to encourage one another.  Together we will find our way along the borders.

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5 responses to “Living along the borders

  1. This is a timely post for me, as we are dealing with my mom’s issues now. It comes with a lot of family conflict, we need strength going forward, energy and stamina as you said.

  2. Interesting to think of living on the borders. I haven’t looked at it quite that way. I have no children, and my husband and I are each other caretakers, for as long as we can do it. I also take much pleasure in my other retired friends. 🙂

  3. With your permission I think I’ll be adding the term ‘border years’ to my vocabulary.

    • It’s funny how the term came to me. We talked at that brunch about how life moves from all things being fine to things being different, like living in a different country. That night I kept replaying our conversation and the term “living at the border” kept coming to mind.

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