I have written previously about “place” and its importance. As we age, so do our senses. It is all part of the ritual if we live long enough. Place has an important function as a matter of safety. Well-lit stairs, working elevators, etc., are essential to day-to-day living. We become less able to maneuver, see, and hear, which is compounded by old injuries and unexpected aging infirmities.
Many people are emotionally connected to their homes. It is full of history about family and affairs that are never to be forgotten. The thought of leaving a place like this is never easy, but the reasons I write of in the opening paragraph make it inevitable. Aging does not give; it takes from us. And what it takes most many of us are unwilling to let go of.
When you live a full, active, and exciting life and you’re not thinking about aging as we did, the day arrives when it hits home like a punch to the jaw. Suddenly, you are older. A chapter is finished, and another looms ahead, unlike the one you completed. You realize then that you are not who you were or what you did. You are different and not the one who walked into the unknown, ready for whatever came your way.
Lenette and I do not fear this phase, and as before, we face each day as it leads us down an unfamiliar path. We remain unafraid. This is important and says that although we are in our 90s, we are still us, yet not who we were. That’s the way it is, even if not what we want. It is why I write that “Place” now contributes significantly to our being around. What was can be no more. We get this and understand why living with other aging people is the right thing for us to do.
It is an experience we never anticipated, understood, or worried about. And we do not even to this day.