During the late 1980's, I was humbled. Getting married, having children, and becoming a widow was not my all American Dream. I grieved, but only after dark when the kids were fast asleep. Letting go is very hard. He wasn't supposed to die so quickly. We should have, but did not have life insurance. For the first five years, I could not let go and leave my kids alone during summer months while I had to work. Being a stay-at-home mom to becoming the breadwinner without a job was like tossing me into an open fire in the woods, far, far away.
I am thankful I found Wyonegonic Camps in Denmark, Maine where my children and I received the full Wyonegonic experience. During my first year, I lived in the tiny ski cabin but for the remainder of the next five years, I lived in Nepahwin, the cabin you see in the photograph.
While the kids went off with their Camp Counselors all the while we lived there, it was the most spiritual and inspiring time of my life. I learned to face my fears. I ate whatever the cook decided to cook three times a day, slept on a cot with a single wool blanket, and lived out of my trunk containing minimum clothing and shoes. When I wasn't at the cabin, I was working inside the Wyonegonic Office doing my job as bookkeeper.
If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends,
it simply means the river bends. ---Enoch Powell
Why Do You Need to Know This?
Ever since 2020, the first year of the pandemic, I have been the shoulder for many widows and widowers who lost their spouse and are now learning how to live without their better half. Each time a person tells me how long they lived with their spouse (45, 50, 55, 60, 65 or more) it gets harder, and harder because nobody really knows their memories and how strong was their relationship. All I can best offer is compassion, support, and answers to questions I know, or try to find resources.
During the past few months, I have been enrolled in a series of "JFK60, The Assassination 60 Years Later." One of the most shocking things I have seen is how young President Kennedy looked in the photographs and movies as a young President, who lived much longer than my husband. Although I have enjoyed the camaraderie of the Baby Boomer's Generation, inside I wonder, what would my spouse look like today, and would he still love me? Unlike the BB Generation, my spouse never made it beyond the 30+ years he lived. To me, my memory of him stopped when he was so young. Many people I meet today attending the series of JFK60, are just now facing life alone without their beloved spouse. The things I am most cognitive today about Seniors are:
- Did they or did they not plan for retirement?
- Where do they go after they downsize?
- What tasks do they need to learn now that their other half is gone?
- How many are afraid to sleep at night?
- Are they eating right and getting enough sleep?
- Do they have family, pets, or friends?
My Conclusion: Everyone, no matter how young or old, has to plan ahead. Physical, emotional, mental, and financial means are necessary. Life has no guarantees. Food and health care are essential. A sense of belonging and meaningful work or volunteerism makes one happier.
As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, I continue to discover, those who were lucky enough to have spent many years together, find it more challenging to go on without their soul mate. There are many seniors trying their hardest to conquer their world independently without being harmed by scammers. Unfortunately, Medicare and Social Security isn't enough.
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