One of the things I have learned, sadly, Is that there are some things you can’t replace as you grow old. It’s not a matter of finances or something no longer in stock.
New technology, wonderful though it may be, can extend my life after a near fatal massive heart failure. But it can not replace the people who made my life full.
You see, I have outlived my wonderful group of 6 friends.
They were 3 or 4 years older than me and at 75, one by one, their lives ended. I was with two of them on their last days and I will never forget those times.
Sitting beside her bed, I read the newspaper to Mar – she never missed a day of the front page and certain columnists. We talked about politics and wow! could she be brutal!!
I shared the latest gossip from our Senior Center with Marg. We laughed a lot. I can still hear it. And oh – how I miss it!
There is so much written and discussed about the need for friends as you age. But how do even begin to make that happen? And if you are a solo ager like me – what do you talk about? Without children, grandchildren or family (the main topics of conversation along with health issues) I feel like a stranger in a strange land! How I long to laugh, share the silly bits of my life, plan to see a movie or go out to lunch or a class. I want to be greeted with a hug!
Unable to drive, I am stranded. My house is like a desert island.
Zoom is a wonderful tool and I am grateful for the opportunity to meet virtually some terrific people from all over the world as a result of my writing. Technology is amazing!
But nothing replaces the warmth of a friend sitting next to you as you share your day. Laughing over a cup of coffee. Taking a walk.
Friends. We don’t realize they are irreplaceable until they are gone. How I miss them!!
Carole Leskin is a retired Director of Global Human Resources. Embarking on a second career as a writer and photographer concentrating on her personal accounts of aging, her essays and poetry, frequently accompanied by her photos, are published in Jewish Sacred Aging, Jewish Women of Words, Starts At 60, Navigating Aging ( a Kaiser Health publication), Women’s Older Wisdom, Time Goes By and Next Avenue. Her poems, “Father Time” and “Carole’s Debate” were selected for inclusion in the 2019 anthologies of poetry, New Jersey Bards. Her photos have been featured in Mart R Porter Nature Forum.