Many years ago, a friend told me about an outing she took her Mother, and elderly Uncle on. Both were suffering from Alzheimer’s. She buckled both into backseats and climbed into the front seat. She looked into the rear-view mirror just as her Mom tapped the Uncle’s shoulder and asked, “Do you know who that is?” while pointing to the front seat. Her brother, my friend’s Uncle replied, “No” to which my friend’s Mother replied, “Neither do I.”
This morning, someone asked me, “Who are you?” When I realized it was my reflection in the mirror, I got worried. Being worried was a consolation, because it provided me with a response: “I’m someone who’s known far and wide as a world-class worrier.” Despite my ability to respond to the question, I am in the midst of an identity crisis.
For many years, I was an employee. For almost as many years, I was Phil’s wife and while I celebrated the loss of the employee moniker, the loss of wife status is throwing me for a loop. The majority of husbands and wives drive each other crazy. Phil and I were no exception, so it’s somewhat of a surprise that I miss him so much now that he’s gone. Caring for him was a job that I was proud of, and frustrated with. People, or maybe just me, are difficult to understand.
I’m just a little over a week away from the one year anniversary of my retirement. It’s exactly a week from Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I love Thanksgiving, because there are no presents (except when my birthday falls on Thanksgiving), so nobody is disappointed with the gifts they’ve received, and everybody gets to eat lots of good food. Eating lots of good food is usually accompanied by lots of laughter and good food and laughter are two of my favorite things (okay, more clues to my identity – worrier who likes to eat food and laugh). Another couple of my favorite things, are friends and family who are always a part of the Thanksgiving celebration (my identity is becoming clearer and clearer).
So, it looks like I’m a Mom, friend, sister, Aunt, retiree who loves Thanksgiving, likes to eat and laugh while not having to go to work weekdays. Bring on your questions, lady in the mirror. Life is good, if maybe a little lonelier than it used to be.