It’s time to write something for the blog again. I haven’t written for months. The reason is that I have been trying to handle the changes in my life. Most of us have experienced a bunch of change in our lives if we have lived for any time at all. Bryan Willis, the guru of our writing group, Panwriters, recently gave us an assignment to list all the homes in which we have lived from birth to the present time. Then we were to write about the smallest one of those homes.
I began listing homes. I went into quite a reverie about where I had lived. I compiled a list of 45 different homes in the 82 and one-half years of my life. In the past two months I moved into home 45—the 5th home I have occupied in Panorama’s complex. For each one of those 45 homes a change has occurred in my life—some of them major changes. Change is one of the facts of life that every one of us who live in Panorama must face. We are seasoned changers. We expect to change. We know that coming to Panorama or any other retirement community isn’t going to suddenly stop change. In fact, we call this a Continuing Care Retirement Community, and that means that if we change, the community still has a place for us and will continue to guide and support us.
So, I have been dealing with change in my life and writing for the blog was set aside for a time. In December, my companion with whom I was living began to have some health problems. Our agreement was that we would live together in her home, but, since both of us had cared for a period of time for a spouse who subsequently died, we would not take on the task of caregiving for each other. I didn’t want to burden her with my care nor did she want me to be burdened with her care. For several years we had a very meaningful relationship with each other that filled our lives with caring and love. We did some traveling, attended lots of concerts, visited each other’s family members, and supported each other in our own little life interests and projects.
Her health began to worsen and she moved into the Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center to receive the care she needed. I remained at our home. But, I was cared for, as well. I realized that she would not be coming back to live with me. Her health was too fragile and deteriorating. I visited with Panorama’s leadership team of social workers and those in charge of housing and we came up with a solution to meeting my own need. I agreed to take an apartment in the Quinault building.
Then, I faced the task of packing my possessions and moving them to my new apartment. Again, Panorama and I worked together to accomplish the move by July 1st. I am now comfortable in my new apartment. Unfortunately, my companion died the day after July 4th. Her family was provided guidance and help to accomplish vacating her home. The other day, I happened to walk through the area and saw the evidence and heard the sound of working that indicated the home was being prepared for the next occupant(s).
And, here I am writing for the blog again. Declining health of a companion, changing relationships, moving to a new apartment, and making plans to live alone again aren’t easy things to accomplish. Each one of them has its own degree of pain. But change is a fact of life and beyond the change is more life. We don’t necessarily welcome change with open arms, but, with help and compassion, change brings new life and we go on.