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Reply by Jimmie
05 Jul 2016, 11:40 AM

Dear Frustrated and Nouce:

Thank you for writing.  It is good to hear from you. It seems you both find yourselves at significant moments of change: You, Frustrated " moving on.....in an almost empty house on this Canada day, ready to take the next step." And you Nouce "trying out a bit of being just me."

I am wondering, Frustrated, about your decsion.  I am wondering how difficult it was or wasn't for you to make.  How did your chldren feel about it?  What does the "cabin in the woods" offer you that made it your ultimate choice?  How do you imagne your life there? How will you spend your time there? What role will the "friendly neighbours" play in your future life there in the "peace and quiet" of the woods?  What are your hopes and fears about such a move?

And Nouce, I am wondering about about this latest border you have crossed and the tradition lost in the process. What does that loss signify to you? And, in particular, I am wondering  about the phrase "trying out a bit of being just me"?  What do you mean by that?  How are you "living out" that decision? What are you doing tat's different?  What are the feelings you are expriencing in the process?  This seems to be your "next step" to use Frustrated's term - what brought you to the point of taking it?

I get frustrated at times with online discussions. Were we sitting down together the cues of your tone of voice, your posture, and your facial expressions would suggest the questions I might want to ask and whether permission to do so might be forthcoming.  Missing those cues, I am hesitant to ask the questions I have just addressed to you for fear of seeming intrusive.  That is not my intention.  It's just that our journeys (I am begnning to hate that useful but overused word) are somewhat parallel and there are very few people, in my experience at least, with whom to speak  in earnest about the lived details of those journeys.  I do not know what "moving on",  or "
trying out a bit of being just me" means to me right now, but I do know - were we sitting down together - I would want to hear your thoughts and feelings about such things in greater depth in order to understand your lives better, and my own as well. 

With affection -

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Reply by frustrated
05 Jul 2016, 12:00 PM

Hi Jimmie,
You have voiced a lot of questions that I have been asking myself. My children all realize that I did need to sell the house. That it was to big for me to take care of on my own. But it is also not without sadness for all of use. The kids were raised in this house, it has been hard. The hardest  was when I sold the dinning room table and as I watched it go out the door, pictures of all the family meals flashed through my mind. Yes, I shed a few tears.

The cabin has been a dream for many years, I just got it finihsed. WHn I couldn't find any place to relocate to here in the lower Mainland, it just seemed that it was the place to go. How will I feel there, I don't know. As I have been moving things from here to there, neither place feels like home. Right now I feel dislocated. WIll the cabin ever feel like home, I don't know. How long will I stay there, I don't know. But I do know when I am there watching the birds in the trees, I feel at peace. I don't know what I hope for, make new friends? Find a life for myslef that is fulfilling? My fear is that the lonelyness will overwhelm me. When it does, I will come stay with my daughter for a few days. I don't really know what will be or how I will adjust. I jsut know it was time to make some changes and that was the door that opened.

For so many years when my husband was sick I felt like everthing was on hold. Now is the time for me to " move on" and find a life for myself that will be fulfilling.

Thanks for asking
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Reply by Nouce
06 Jul 2016, 12:42 PM

So much I could say. I wish I could send you a photo I took, of the lantern in the Japanese garden in the Jardin Botanique de Montreal. It has one foot in the water and one on the land--like us.

One thing I did for the first time was to take a week-long vacation. I went by myself and met some old college friends. I felt tremendously courageous, and had a good time.

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Reply by Nouce
07 Jul 2016, 11:52 AM

Dear Jim, and others,

I just remembered that I could update my profile picture, so I have posted the Japanese lantern. It's my symbol for where I am.




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Reply by Jimmie
07 Jul 2016, 12:00 PM

Dear Frustrated (Vrginia) and Nouce:

Thank you for responding so honestly to the questions I asked the last time I wrote to you both.  I have been encouraged (sometimes scolded) by family and friends to find more "balance" in my life.  There is, I know, more than a little wisdom in their advice.  You do need to care for yourself if you are to effectively care for the other. That's why I was interested, Nouce, in what you had to say about "trying out a bit of being just me".  Your week of vacation where you met old friends left you feeling "tremedously courageous" and refreshed. I admire that step you have taken.  The benefits for you are obvious in the life of your comments.  Such vacations can be re-creations, and restorations - resurrections of a neglected self.

I loved the image you pointed out about the lantern, Nouce - one foot in the water and one on land -" just like us". It's an apt image! I am wondering if there was a suggestion of potential movement there - of the tension that exists prior to any decision whether to move on, or remain anchored where you are.  That seems to be the tension you have articulated, Frustrated (may I refer to you as Virgnia?).  There are all the unknowns ahead of you as you state.  And there is certainly the deep sense of loss which comes from leaving the profoundly personal and familiar - the home, the dining room table.  I would find such a decision, such a move very difficult to make. Your fear of loneliness sounds real and understandable to me, but the hope of finding peace and fulfillment does too. And it does seem, from what I "hear" in your words that the time is ripe for such a move.  Sometimes it seems to me the body knows this even when the mind is still uncertain.  It is like the change in the seasons particularly from summer to fall (at least where I live).  The change is subtle, a result of an accumulation of almost imperceptible shifts in light and temperature over time, and then - on a certain morning - you know - you feel - that things are different and its time to move.  Something akin to how wild geese must feel as they sense the time for departure is upon them.  The spirit moves us first at a level beneath our hearing. We change before we know we have.  Knowing is often just a belated acknowledgement of what has already taken place in our depths. It is time.

Thank you again for your patience and generosity.  Thank you for your care for those you love and have loved, and thank you for the people you are becoming by choice and circumstance.  It is not easy this "moving on". It is not easy acceding to the urgings of life within us.

I appreciate your kind companionship.  I wish you both the best in the days ahead. I am not entirely ignorant of the difficutlies in your lives past and present.  I offer my affection and admiration as humble and awkward gifts to you. Perhaps you might find them of some comfort in the days to come.       

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Reply by Xenia
19 Jul 2016, 5:04 PM

Good Morning All:

It was so good to open up my computer on Canadian Virtual Hospice this morning and read all the messages from all my friends on this board.

I have been very lax in not writing, however - forgive me , I have had a lot of things happen in the past 3 months.  First, my grandson - should say our as he was John's and my grandson, got married on the 25th of June.  Wonderful wedding and so pleased that John always told Tyler he was going to marry Cori.  He predicted this at our last Christmas gathering and sadly passed away 3 weeks later.  Life does throw you a curve at times.

Health has been up and down but am now getting it looked after in VAncouver and I will be moving to Vancouver next month.  I will be closer to my 3 children who live there and will help relieve some of the worry my daughter who lives here in Langley.  Her husband had a stroke a number of years ago and although he is doing well he still has some problems to deal with and she has been my support for the past year and a half since John passed away.  Another chapter in my life has been added to my life time book.  

Jimmie, I sorely missed reading your messages as I missed reading the others messages.  Reading them I share the same problems, situations, and all the experiences we share when we care for a loved one or living alone when they pass away and we carry on as we best can.  Often I have stumbled, picked myself up and then made more decisions, good or bad or indifferent I have learned to live and become a self sufficent person learning to live alone with memories of what used to be knowing that the future is unknown just as it was when John was alive and we shared talks about our future together which was not to be.

The decision to move will certainly be one of my final decisions of where I will be living for the future.  I had to look at finances, Independent living and Assisted living in the future.  The Independent Living residence I have chosen has assisted living and complex care offered there and was one of the reasons I chose it.  Of course, where it is situated helped.  It overlooks the Burrard Inlet and the Pacific Ocean.  From the floor I will be living on has a vantage point of overlooking the inlet and further the ships on the ocean, the Iron Workers Bridge and the Lions Gate Bridge.  On a clear day, like the song goes, I can see forever.

Jimmie, my best wishes to Sarah and yourself.  Your caring for Sarah, your family  and others iis a comfort to myself and I am sure all on CVH and helps all to carry on knowing we can share our innermost thoughts without reservation and fear of being recriminated for our worries, tears, anger or whatever we are feeling when we sit down and put our feelings into words.  Thank You for being a friend.

Take care and Keep on messanging.


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Reply by NatR
19 Jul 2016, 6:22 PM

Dear Dear Xenia,
lovely to read your long post to the forum
you have been on my mind and I am so glad you caught us up with all your news!
how lovely to hear you will have a million $ view from a wonderful apartment - you will adore that!

i have said it before but I often wish we could jump through the computer screen into virtual reality and share a moment in time together;)

your family has had a lot of things happening and it is what we all go through - change in health, locations and lifestyle

so glad you are doing okay - loved hearing from you

summer is a busy time for me also - trying to enjoy the nicer weather, getting outside as often as I can!

i took a friend to the outdoor free concert in our local park last week!  She is an amazing 93 yr old with a zest for life that inspires me!

  Sending you hugs and thoughts from ontario
stay well and be good to yourself Xenia :)

sending good wishes to  other members who read this - take each day as it comes / ofttn that's enough of a bite to chew on:)
take care,
NatR πŸŽˆπŸ‘πŸ»πŸŒ·πŸŒŸ 
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Reply by Jimmie
20 Jul 2016, 10:12 PM

Thank you NatR and Xenia for writing.  I have been wondering how you both have been.  Sounds like you have been and are busy, NatR.  I am amazed at individuals such as the lady you took to the concert.  I'm impressend not only with her longevity, but even more with the zest, the "lightness of spirit" you say she still possesses.  I always wonder about the foundation, the source of such such joy and enthusiasm for life particulary when it is still being expressed at the age of ninety three.  Remarkable, really.  She is fortunate to have you as a companion, and you are fortunate to have her as a friend.

And you, Xenia, you are on the move.  Sounds like a lovely setting.  I do not know the geography well having only been to Vancouver once, but any view of the ocean is a treasure as far as I am concerned. I am not a lake person.  I need the sea.  It seems older to me, wiser too, and I like the fact that it is not contained, land locked. I hope your move goes well, dear.  It sounds like your family will benefit from it, and I suspect you will as well.

I'd like to thank both of you, and everyone else who has posted on this forum for being who you are.  I know that's an awkward and dog-eared phrase, but I can't for the life of me come up with anything better.  What i mean to say is that I appreciate the honesty and depth of your presence as i have met each one of you on line if not in person. There is an inevitable solitude to our sorrows. We are ultimately alone in our griefs. Having said that, it is such a pleasure and comfort for me to be in your company from time to time.  WE are strangers in many repects to each other, and at the same time we are honoured companions. 

Best wishes to you two and to one and all.  The Earth is moving so they say and it is approaching dusk here.  It has been a long, tiring day for me.  The lawn mowers have finally ceased their complaints outside my window. Sarah is hopefully asleep by now in her residence ten minutes from our home, her home.  It is tiring sometimes, isn't it?

Good night! 

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Reply by NatR
20 Jul 2016, 11:25 PM

Hello Jim,

you our are always out there reading and listening - I agree with you about the healing power of the ocean - although I haven't been as lucky as Xenia is to snatch a beautiful view for her own!

appreciated your comments about the friend I have who still has a zest for life into her nineties.
she is ready to rock and roll and will try anything once:)
i look st her and watch her industrious ways - as she cares for her own home still and has a tiny garden patch in her back yard

we could all do well to soak up the enthusiasm she has - and I hope I can keep going like she has

we are dealing with a heat wave in ontario - even in the north it is 30 deg in the shade
thank goodness for fans and being retired.  I actually just laid down for an hour - unheard of for me

I know you are comforted by the closeness of your dear wife and being able to visit often
to you and all readers of the forum posts - just try and be kind to yourself and those you meet each day
caregivers are always in need of kind words, a gentle hug and praise for going the extra mile
be well everyone
i am caught up in the news of the day - never thought south of the border would be so interesting πŸ‘πŸ»
the older we get the more we realize that life is fascinating - and if that what makes up keep going - well so much the better ;)

Quiet evening to each one
hugs and best wishes

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Reply by Xenia
23 Jul 2016, 5:34 PM

Good Morning All:

 Taking time out from packing up and getting ready for the move even though it is 2 weeks away.  I like to be on top of things and at my age I just can't remember to do all the things I used to take for granted like calling all the services I use, the pension people, telephone, etc etc.  Managed to do all of that and just took down all the pictures that have been filling the walls with memories.  Into a box they go until the move into my new digs.  Lots of memories and like my life they are getting boxed until I know where to put them.

I told my table mates that I am leaving and was surprised at their response.  I have been having meals with them for nigh on a year, September to be exact, and we have developed a great relationship.  Can't you stay here and why do you have to move, etc.  Will miss my 5 friends but have to move on. 

Jimmie, you speak of the quiet in the room you share with Sarah on Friday nights then the different noises or sounds you hear coming from the corridor.  I can relate to that as when I moved from our condo to the Independent residence I am now leaving the sounds were so different that it took me quite a while to learn to sleep with these different sounds.  At the condo I heard the fountain running till 12:00 p.m. then shut off, heard various sounds from the hallway, owners returning from work or  a party, the wind rustling the shrubs and trees outside by the Koi pond.  Yes it took me a while to get used to the changes.  

So glad I am back on line as with this move it is another chapter in my life that I have chosen to write up in my own way.  Like a novel I wont know the ending and hope the kids will read my recordings of my life before and after John, the changes with living alone and learning a new way of life.

Summer has finally shown up in B.C.  We have had a lot of rain and the forecast is for hot weather, something I am not fond of and am pleased I am moving to Vancouver closer to the ocean where the breezes help lower the temperature.  Here in the Valley we get a lot of heat.

Today I am heading to the Legion for a Chicken Dinner fund raiser.  I will be leaving this behind as I am too far away from our group to continue as an active member but will retain my membership and help in that way.

Also having my computer looked at to-day before I move so it is good working order after I settle in.

Happy Regards to all.


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