By Freda Rumford from the January 2013 Edition
It is not usual for reporters to become the lead in the story they are writing. Unfortunately for you, dear reader, my eyes have turned so far inward these days that at the moment there is no way out but through my pen.
My parents were children of the Victorian era, very straight and honest who ruled with a rod of iron. Certainly they would not fit into the theories of Dr. Spock. Neither did I for that matter. I find that the modern-agers are lacking generally in the respect previously shown to elders and find the statement “you have to earn respect” rather rude and grandiose. Haven’t those of my era done just that by providing for; housing, clothing and educating children to a point where they can take their place in the world? Very few of us had nannies or maids as children and eventually, with our own families, played all of the servant roles in turn as needed. We tried at the same time to make a bit of a life for ourselves along the way; sometimes very successfully and enjoyable, in other instances not. Besides rearing our families, we of the “Silent Generation” were the first generation that had both parents in the work force merely to make ends meet.
Having done all of the above with some degree of success, it has finally come to the slowing down stage and I am in my December days. Having found respect in both business and pleasurable pursuits; having been told by so many that I am a very strong and thoughtful person, it astonishes me find that I am now deemed to be totally inadequate in determining the life choices I wish to make. It’s surprising to find that after having coached my children and occasional friends through some traumatic circumstances, I am considered totally inept in making my own decisions and character analyses.
I grew up in England in mid 20th century and was treated to all of the modern inventions not known of by my grandparents but dreamed of by George Orwell, Jules
Verne, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. We didn’t have a refrigerator, a television, or a washing machine when I was growing up but we did have a radio, a local library, a big back garden and very vivid imaginations. My grandchildren have all grown up with all of the above plus very fast thumbs!!
Two years ago I was widowed after a very long and reasonably successful marriage. My heels were swept from under me and I tried desperately to find my feet. My family and friends were there for me every step of the way, cheering me on in every little triumph and small step that I made. It was a hard journey but I had the right companions. Having had a lifelong lover, I most certainly did not expect to meet somebody new who would want to step up to walk beside me for the rest of my life. But that has happened and I am most fortunate in finding someone who is so compatible, who likes me so well that he wants to be with me for the rest of the time we have on this earth. We laugh at and with each other constantly; enjoy playing; working; planning and learning about each other every day. We have each been introduced to new likes in food; authors and experiences; plus found a willing helpmate or ear when the road gets a little rough.
This past year has been possibly one of the most eventful of a very eventful life. I sit here now in my La-Z-boy chair in Abbotsford, B.C. watching the snow drift softly down on a lawn still completely covered with autumn leaves. This is the first time that I have seen snow in fifteen years as we made definite moves then to run away from winter in Calgary, Alberta. We lived in Calgary for almost 35 years before deciding that now we were retired it was not required to live with sub-zero temperatures, icy roads and freezing rain any more.
I have had a major health set back recently but did that deter my new love? Not a bit of it! I had a constant visitor at the hospital and a personal chef and masseur upon my return home. A cup of tea at the ready should I fade and an aid in standing straight in the shower to wash my lank hospital head.
Never in my wildest dream would I have considered that a septuagenarian, even a somewhat crazy one, could possibly find someone to love and be loved by so late in life. Am I of the age to be put out on the shelf just to be dusted off for company? I don’t think so because I am not yet old and do not intend to become so any time soon. I have enjoyed a long life that shows no sign of slowing down or letting up in momentum.
A variety of people seem to question my sanity! But truthfully, is it better to be lonely and merely remember days gone by, or to spend time with a like soul of the things which are to come and yet to be experienced? Who would have the temerity to think they know better than I what is needed for my next quarter or more century? I am still working on that myself and there is so much to learn and do.
Next year will be a wonderful year.