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All about being on the move.

Girls just want to have fun

Today I had sad news. A friend who has been looking after her husband who has had many challenges fell and broke her hip. True story. I live many miles away so I'm not able to provide help but my heart aches for her and for her situation. Imagine, you're doing your best to make the best of a poor situation and life dumps more on you. Life is, for sure, not fair! Her children are trying to help out but they too have busy familys and don't live across the street. How much better would these friends be if they lived in a caring cohousing community where help is across the walkway. Not medical of course, but community caring help. If they lived across the way they would have meals and supportive visits plus help to take her husband and her to the endless doctor visits. Help to do the ordinary things like water the flower pots on the deck. The laundry. Changing the bedding. How depressing it must be to have life pile on even more. I usually refain from scare tactics about trying to promote cohousing but today I am angry at life. This is going to get a bit personal now. I'm angry at myself for waiting so long to recognize that my future is not secure. That I could break my hip falling off my bike tomorrow and not have enough support. Selfish thought maybe, but realistic. I often get crazy looks or rolled eyes from people when I talk about cohousing who say they are doing "just fine" in there wonderful homes. But when life suddenly changes? What then? You lose that husband you have tended to for so long. That illness that deprived you of many things, like the book club with girlfriends because you had to "get home"...."cus he's alone". Maybe you are one of the fortune ones who has endless family or friends who will rally round. Lucky you. I have been fearlessly independent and an introvert my whole life and l'm sure that is why it has taken me so long to figure out what I want in my future. I want privacy but I also want people next door who won't judge me if I'm in my pj's until noon. I want to be there for my neighbour who just broke her hip and to be able to help her deal with all she is facing. I want to be surrounded by vibrant interesting people who like to share meals together sometimes. Share a garden and maybe even a car. I want to see their Grandkids visit. I want to share that I was once a fire lookout and logged many vertical feet in deep powder snow. I don't want to slip into the anonymous void of old age. Selfish again I suppose. I resently took a poll of some friends of mine. The question was," Do you have any fears about old age"? Two said isolation, one said "losing their marbles" one said illness. Interestingly one of the ones that said isolation has a husband two children and 4 grandchildren. What's up with that? Recently cycling without age has come to Invermere. An enterprising volunteer group is taking mostly older or handicapped people on rides using a bicycle rickshaw. Wonderful! There is another caring organization that has come together to create a healing garden. Again wonderful! We have hospice and homecare and other organizations trying their best to help make our community a caring neighbourly village. I applaud them all. In the old days we didn't need some of these services because neighbours jumped in when we needed help. We didn't send our old ones to live in for profit facilities. We didn't choose to go there ourselves. We had family nearby or neighbours we knew all our lives. Please don't get me wrong. I appreciate all the folks that volunteer to make life better for others. They are the true angels. But why do my friends still site isolation as one of their biggest fears. I think it is because we have been and are going to continue to be transient all our lives. For me in my rental space, this will not be my last home. You can probably see downsizing or up sizing your accommodation in the future. Each requiring leaving your current neighbours. I'm trying to avoid that. Cohousing is not about housing it is about creating community. I only wish I could find those truely awesome, enlightened people to plan design and create what I believe we all deserve. A village of engaged caring neighbours. Yes there will be front porches!