"So what happens when you get old, who’s going to take care of you?"
This question comes up regularly when people are invited to evaluate a childfree life.
This is what I imagine…
My husband and I are living in a small garden home in a planned community. We can walk to the bank, the grocery, the café on the corner. Our dog (the one we haven’t adopted yet, the cute little terrier or mutt from the pound) accompanies us on our trips out and forces us to get out even on the coldest days.
We acknowledge the shopkeepers, the café owner. They ask us to evaluate or sample their new offerings. We are regulars.
We shop daily for our food. The grocer offers prepared food: homemade soups, squares of his mom’s famous lasagna, maybe some tiramisu if our diet allows it. Sometimes dinner is cheese, fruit and crackers in front of the TV as we watch our latest Netflicks selection.
I go to aquarobics twice a week and vounteer at the art museum. We go out with the Dinner Club group once a week. Occassionally we go to a see the guest lecturer at the college. We visit our homebound friends, with a box of lasagna from the grocer. We trust that someone will do this for us when we are ill or homebound. We have a wide circle of friends—we call them our tribe. We spend Thanksgiving with them, we open our home on Christmas Eve and we share food and wine.
We take care of each other when we can. When we can’t we’ll take one final Mediterannean cruise and we move into the assisted living apartment we have picked out. The one that has the beautiful courtyard we can look out on. The one that has a therapy dog called Rufus who likes to lick hands. Jean, our tribe elder, lives down the hall. Oftentimes she forgets my name but she always remembers the time I mistakenly walked in the men’s room in Spain and the guy at the urinal gave me a full frontal.
We’re never too old to laugh.
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