Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gift of Love for an Old Dog

VDay yesterday was wonderful. I can't believe how much love I feel for and from my friends and family. But it wasn't always like that.

I don't remember my parents expressing love for me in any way, at any time. In addition I didn't love myself. I was fat. Really fat. Needless to say I didn't feel terribly attractive. Then before I graduated I dropped out of school to go to work---somebody in the family had to. What a loser. I was pitifully lonely; I couldn't even stand my own company.

I married foolishly, to get out of the house. As Millie pointed out yesterday in her blog at
http://mymomsblog.blogspot.com, decent girls lived at home (no matter how loathsome) until they got married. So I did. It was still lonely but that was familiar. However during the 20 years of that marriage I gave birth to a wonderful son and worked in and loved a job that changed my life. I wouldn't give that up for a second.

After retirement I bought a lovely condo in a vibrant FL retirement community. I volunteered almost daily at the Jupiter Medical Center, served on community and civic boards, shopped, ate out and enjoyed a very active social life. Twice a year I spent a few very long days with my son and his family. I dutifully sent generous and appropriate gifts and felt lucky to have a "nice" family---even if we hardly knew one another. That all changed when I fell.

My children started calling, begging me to move to CO. "We're the only family you have!" they said. "You're losing all your condo friends!" they said. (That was true. My friends were dropping like flies.) Finally, after losing my very special someone I moved to CO---quite certain I was making the biggest mistake of what remained of my life!

Thankfully I was wrong. I'm happier than I've ever been before. I feel real because I'm recognized and loved for who I am. I was reminded of that fact when I wandered into the kitchen Valentine's Day morning and opened a card addressed to: "Mom: The heart of our family." The last 4 years have been scary, tough and wonderful. But I guess the old saying isn't true: you can teach an old dog new tricks!

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