As I hit my late 40’s two things started to occur with great regularity. First, my busiest social activity became attending the funerals of friends’ parents. While sad events, for sure, they were also a wonderful opportunity to connect with those, “long-time friends that you just never seem to see much anymore”, you know…the college gang that still gets together once a year…maybe (in a good year)…but hey, a funeral makes such a gathering possible. Even out-of-towners come to town for a good funeral.
The second thing that started to happen was divorce.
But unlike funerals, divorces are NOT a good bonding opportunity for long-time friends, just let me tell you. As the now unhappy couple splits…everything in their life is unhappily split, including friendships. And much like the question, “who gets the dog?” in a divorce, another big question is which friends “go” with which spouse…who gets custody of the divorcing couple’s friends?
My parents lived in their home long after my moving out. But when my father died, my mom did finally move out of my lifelong “home”.
At the time of my mom’s move we sorted through her and my dad’s life, getting rid of all the collected stuff of a lifetime. She moved away from long-time neighbors and nearby friends, from a 3 bedroom home to a small single bedroom apartment. I remember how emotional it was for her.
Now, I am sitting in my own home of some 23 years. My older son lives in an apartment a day’s drive away; my younger son still in college, but not really around much. My husband and I have a 4 bedroom home. It is a big house with a large yard.
My husband was the first to bring up the idea of downsizing. “We no longer need the space,” he said one day. “If we downsize to a less expensive area we can retire early,” I heard over and over again.
Then, one day it seemingly started to make sense…
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