Is it possible to start a new life at the age of 93?
What prompted my decision to move from a comfortable home with lifetime friends close by to a smaller home two hours away? Still healthy and able to navigate well from room to room and even climb the steps to my second-floor bedroom, why disturb a satisfying way of life?
Indeed, I had become dependent on the use of a cane when outdoors on uneven terrain, and it was impossible not to accept the reality that the stability I enjoyed would not last forever. The decision was not an easy one, and I weighed the pros and cons.
When young, my mother’s advice, which was somewhat cryptic at the time, was, “There comes a time in life when you just have to let the wind blow.” Was this such a time? I thought not.
This was a time when I was still in full control of planning the direction of my future, so not a time to just let the wind blow, but a time to take charge. So, weeks later, when my daughter arrived for a visit, I told her of my thinking. Without missing a beat, she picked up her laptop and started to research retirement communities in Seattle where she lived with her family. And an email was sent to bring my two sons into the picture.
In the end, it came down to which of my children lived closest, so I would not have to move too far away from friends, and also who was best able to offer help if needed.
The old-aging process is essentially a time when, little by little, we relinquish control over some of life’s major decisions. Perhaps this is the moment, now comfortably settled in my new home, when I must simply let the wind blow.
But must I? For my entire life, maintaining control over my decisions, both the mundane and those of great moment, contributed to my sense of well-being. Yet, surely we are impacted by events over which we have no control. That is when wisdom gained over many years distinguishes those times when we can still choose the direction life will take from those times when we must just let the wind blow. Perhaps the wisdom gained in advanced years is knowing how to tell the difference.