Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Last week I went with my sister to visit one of my father's employers, who I last saw in 1967. Dad worked on her farm. At 42 she was a white haired widow with three children. When her youngest was just a toddler, her husband had been killed when his tractor rolled on him - no roll bars or safety cages back then. She continued on the farm until she moved into the local retirement village.

We visited her at the retirement village and found a mentally alert, physically sprightly, 94 year old woman who talked about her life with enthusiasm, speaking of the things she was looking forward to, talking of the things she enjoys. Living her life.

Watching my grandchildren and children, I've been thinking about how life starts out with almost infinite possibilities, but future choices narrow with every choice that is made.

I've been thinking a lot about why I am finding the changes happening in my life so difficult. Instead of focusing on the choices still available to me, I, unlike my dad's ex-boss, seem to focus on past choices that proved not so great, and on the choices no longer available to me.

My unhappiness seems to revolve around the loss of possibilities; the loss of dreaming of the future. My future seems to roll out before me as an unchanging landscape, and even though I am very happy with my life and what I have in it, I feel a deep sense of grief for the loss of possibility in my life.

I saw this woman looking forward to small pleasures, enjoying memories of past successful choices. How do I enter this frame of mind?


kate5kiwis said...

what an inspiring scene.
i would love to be her in fifty-odd years time. maybe she surrounds herself with positivity? maybe she has sunshine within?
she certainly has a well of strength.
mwah X

Cally said...

Yes, pretty amazing. I didn't mention that she lives about halfway between Hamilton and Auckland and she said she doesn't go to Auckland any more as the motorway is a bit much for her, but she still has her license and drives to Hamilton every week or so.

Fifty years time? You wanna be like that? I'll visit you in the retirement home, as I pass in my housetruck, just after my 107th birthday.....