Being Seventy: Eight
The next-to-last bit about aging from the book, Being Seventy, is not a happy one:
Page 122 (following a visit to a nursing home): Now, back in my motel I am thinking about the day, especially about Evelyn, who is so dear. All three of those whom I met, each so different from the others, had one thing in common: they needed desperately to talk. This is the real loneliness of old age — to be surrounded by people and yet not have anyone to hear and respond.
There isn't a whole lot for me to say about this bit.
In St. Jerome's day, over-seventy was ancient. Things aren't quite that grim any longer.
My widowed older sister lives nearby and we see each other frequently, I'm happy to say. We have interests in common and some similar traits, unfortunate lack of a sense of direction and enhanced sense of humor being two of them. We are blessed to be close in more than one sense of the word. Increasingly her conversation is about losses among her peers. Many of her friends have moved to retirement centers and established new lives there. They no longer are interested in traveling to Near Philadelphia to visit. Walkers have become their partners, rather than their late husbands. They all see each other at funerals. It is sad.
My heart aches for my sister and these losses. At the same time, I'm well aware that she is just eight years my senior. When 2028 comes around, who among the Good Guys, the Renegades, the Circle Sisters will I still be in frequent contact with?