My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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I know life is not going to get easier. The world is in a horrendous mess. I’m 68 and health will at some point start to go wrong for me and for my friends. I know that.

So right now, let me cherish this moment, this sublime Sunday morning. It’s not too hot, just a mild breeze, sweet air swishing through the willow tree, sleepy birds, distant city sounds. Everyone is out of town; the silence is palpable. Auntie Do is out of hospital and back in her new home, River Park, where she has made friends with three women called Dorothy, Sylvia, and Margaret – her own name and her sisters’. “The whole family is here,” she laughed. Anna and her boys are off tomorrow to Washington to spend a week with her dad. Sam is going to the memorial event today of a friend, one of the owners of the House on Parliament; a staff person there told Sam that one of the last conversations she had with her boss, before he died of a heart attack, was about Sam bringing two boxes of chicken wings as a gift for the staff. My son will probably come here afterward, since it’s a block away.

May I count my blessings?

Yesterday I met a new neighbour who has just moved in across the street; he introduced himself, I asked where he was from originally, and immediately we began speaking in French. There are now seven of us within a six house radius who speak fluent French; we should have a Francophone block party.

Then Eli and his dad rode their bikes from Parkdale to here – an hour’s ride. When Thomas left,  Eli and I had fun for the rest of the day. We went to the Regent Park playground, so well designed, so many ways to test the body.

My gardening helper Andrew came and we planted spinach, arugula, and lettuce seeds. Eli watered. (Today as we walked he bent down by someone’s garden and exclaimed, “Is that a cucumber?” I didn’t know what a cucumber plant looked like until two years ago.)

We listened to some of “Sgt. Pepper’s” and he said, “I get by with help from my friends too.” We watched a bit of “Ferdinand” on the movie channel, he ate a massive dinner of the few foods he will actually eat, had a long bath with the pirate boat, and went to bed clutching a picture of himself hugging his brother Ben while I read “Charlotte’s Web.” I was awakened at 6.45 a.m. by a very young man still holding the picture. He really loves his brother. More playground, the Farm, drawing pictures, “Paw Patrol,” massive quantities of food, our favourite dinosaur puzzle. While he watered, we saw the cardinal fly to its nest in the willow, a perfect spider’s web glinting in the sun, the bees nuzzling the Rose of Sharon, and I thought, this is why I’m staying in this house. For this.

Now he has gone off with Holly to a movie. His mama has had a much-needed break from him. He is an angel for everyone but her – especially difficult because they are so alike. As I’ve said to her, if I’d been a strong mother like she is, taking on every challenge, we’d have murdered each other. I was a wuss as a mother, and so we survived.

This morning, as I brushed my very short hair, he looked at me. “Why do you brush your hair when it doesn’t even move?” Good question.

So here I am, now alone in a messy house, blessed in every way. Today. This moment.

PS Later: two more treats today. YoYo Ma – and peaches.



2 Responses to “blessings”

  1. theresa says:

    Oh this is so wonderful. So many blessings and most of them close to hand. Thank you for making this a rich Sunday morning…

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, among my blessings, you. Out there on the other side of the country, counting your own blessings daily. Sending you much love.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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