I am writing this from my parent’s apartment. As I mentioned before, this last year I helped them downsize from their home and move into a retirement community. This is my first visit since last May, when we made the final move and I got them settled in. I really did not have time to explore or meet many people then, as I was so occupied tending to my folks. It has been so good to be here and see that they are established. They have discovered old friends here as well as meeting new people. I will be here for a month, so I am certain I will have many adventures and discover my own new friends, as well as having time with my parents—which is just wonderful.
One of my discoveries of the moment is how they manage the dining room. If there are the three of us going in for a meal they will seat a single person with us or us with them. And this goes for any combination of people. It is such a fantastic way to get to know new people. Meal times are very social here. Each person is like a book with many interesting chapters to share. I think sometimes when older you can feel invisible. Cast off. And I have even caught myself projecting thoughts like this only to find later that, behind the crumpled quiet person in the corner in a wheel chair, is this amazing, magical person with so much to offer.
I have spent many years, as a child and then later with my Musical Medicine program visiting with seniors and those ill, in rehab or hospice. And I learned so much during those years. But my vantage point has changed as I move into the middle of my fifties. Witnessing my parent’s changes and the awareness that they are going to transition sooner than later, and the consciousness of the impermanence of life. Of my life! So I have been meditating on these things. I look forward to conversations with my new friends and reflecting on these matters. I will be reporting back to you with the stories and wisdom that comes my way.