Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Independence is a gift

I imagine my mom enjoying the train ride and the scenery. She's gotten to do more traveling in the last few years since my dad's passing then I can ever remember. At 86 she has a lively mind and is enjoying her life. She has fixed up her apartment and it reflects her newfound energy.

One day she even asked me "how do you win at bingo?" and she has brought home some prizes since. She still lives alone and loves her independence. One of my kids said "you're letting her go alone on the train?" as if she needs my permission or approval.

She is getting as much out of life as she can. For several years she took on the job as sole caregiver for my dad who was suffering with senile dementia. It was very difficult and painful, at times he could be belligerent and violent. Now she deserves the freedom she has. She never learned to drive, so she mostly walks where she wants to go.

She's considering learning the bus schedules so that she can explore even further. She really doesn't like to have to depend on others. I don't blame her. I think we have a better relationship than we've ever had in our lives. I think it's because of the late blossoming independence.

I think she finally understands what it is to be on your own and relishes it. I think it helps her understand me a little better as I have been on my own after my divorce for over 20 years. Have raised my children on my own, and have had to be self sufficient.

I'm wondering now who I can get to care for my cats so I too can see a little more of the world. To travel. I might even take the train. It sounds like something I would like to do. I could also follow her example and walk more.

I want to be as fit and healthy at 85 as my mom. It's time to start living. The kids are grown, I've retired, a new future awaits. I don't know all it holds for me, but like my mom let me be a little daring, do a little discovering, and relish my independence.