Where did all the Friends go


Sitting here on another Sunday afternoon in a very quiet house, in a very quiet neighborhood and the only thing I can hear are the wind chimes and the quail calling their babies. I am lonely and have few friends in my life at present. Having said that I have to correct that statement and say that I have several good friends, however, they all live in distant parts of the country. We communicate by email and occasionally by telephone but that does not seem to assuage the loneliness that comes from having no in person contact.

I used to wonder why young people would go to coffee houses, take out their computer or books and study or work. Now I believe I know. They perhaps are experiencing the same sense of isolation that I have living in an area that is isolated from people. We do seem to need to be with members of our own tribe, even sometimes if we have nothing in common with them.

We are planning to relocate hopefully within the next year and will certainly go where there are people walking and talking and not just quail and coyotes. Love those quail and coyotes but they have not invited me to join their little group. I think of relocating closer to my children but have come to believe that my children and grandchildren do not offer the kind of friendship that I need. They have their history with me and we love each other but the honesty and authentic sharing of feelings and thoughts is just not there. I often feel when I’m with my son that indeed he would prefer I not be there. Oddly enough although I feel a bit of sadness with that thought I understand. Who usually wants an elderly parent close by? He does not want to witness my aging and there is no turning it back.

The illusion that I have lived with for many years is that I would be an integral and important part of the children and grandchildrens’ families The reality is that as I age although I want to be included I also don’t want to be included. Their lives are busy with work and school and all the daily things that go with raising a family and earning a living. I am past work and school and the rearing of children. So what happened to all the friends? We all aged, went various directions in our retirement. Some moved closer to their children, some to places they had longed to go all their lives. Some are in Retirement communities where certainly loneliness is not an issue as there are many people around. When I think of retirement communities with all their planned activities, socials and a calendar full of people, then I feel pressured and suffocated. So, there is no simple answer to loneliness in old age. Just one day at a time

So, the end of June we head for San Miguel de Allende for 3 months and I will spend time with a very good friend. She offers the kind of friendship that I feel very fortunate to have. I have often thought that in this life if I have one or two really good friends I am fortunate. Just too bad I can’t have them next door.

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