This has been a big few months of change for me. By change I mean many people making changes in their lives which are affecting me as well as changes in direction that I am orchestrating. Bittersweet. Excited for them. Will miss them. Sad for me. Wonder what or where the next chapters of my life will take me.
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Isaac, God Son Extraordinaire left for Japan for two years where he will teach English in Tokyo as well as increase his ability to speak the language, travel the country, and no doubt become a new, better person for his efforts. He has many friends there, both American and Japanese, from his days a few years ago with the JET Program (Japanese Exchange Teacher.) I love him. I will miss our dinner dates, or catching up on the latest electronics (read him helping me set up mine:-), our philosophical conversations, him accepting me as an "older wiser" mentor, visiting Gregory together, and my enjoying his youthful view of life.
Peter, my therapist, and I have been working together for five maybe more years. While we have been careful not to "cross the therapist/client line" we have become friends. He and his family attended the opening night celebrations of Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, we performed together (Peter his own songs and guitar - me poetry) at Curt's Cafe, I attended another one of his performances in the area, we explored and I photographed (with the help of his landlord) an abandoned 1920's movie theater. Besides therapy he provided me someone to talk to about world affairs, philosophies, and religion when Gregory was no longer able to. I have decided to stop our sessions and "move on" but know that Peter is there as my therapist if I need him.
Ivanca, my housekeeper for the last seven years, will be returning to her native country Bulgaria. I am very excited for her and know how much she wants to be back home with her family and in her own house which has been waiting for her for a long time. I know that this provides me with the opportunity to visit her beautiful country with an escort and when I am able to begin traveling again (currently on hold because of my not wanting to miss time with Gregory) I will take her up on her offer.
Son, my personal trainer downstairs of the condo at LA Fitness and I have been working together for 16 months. She has encouraged me, cajoled me, supported me, and at times gently bawled me out, as I worked on my exercise routines and mostly "getting to the gym more than one time a week." I have lived in the condo for over seven years now, have been a member of LA Fitness the entire time, but did not begin using the club until I made the commitment to myself and to son a little over one year ago. I have decided that it is time to move on and be responsible for getting myself to the gym without needing to have Son hold me responsible. I know she too will be there if I need her in the future or for a refresher course. Now I need to work on my peronsal self motivation.
Pat, my instant best friend and fellow writer and I met some four years ago at a writer's conference. It was instant LIKE! We have a lot in common when it comes to philosophies of life, what we enjoy doing, how we spend time together, interests, easy expectations, and loyalty. It is not often that one makes such a close friend so late in life. She instantly found an affection for Gregory, even in his advanced stage of Alzheimer's even though she did not know him when he was "whole." On her own she drops by to visit him, the most often of all Gregory and my family and friends, (helps that Lieberman is between her home and her grocer store:-) She and her husband, now that their two sons are graduated and on their own, decided to sell their home in Wilmette and purchase a condo in Portland, a city they both love. He will have a small apartment in Evanston as he continues to teach at Northwestern for a few years and she will call Portland home with intermittent visits to Evanston. We already have a few "Pat visits Evanston" and "Michael visits Portland" dates on the calendar. I will miss her close availability to do things in person but with texting, cell phones, FaceTime, and periodic visits; we will work on continuing our friendship.
A Strange Poem For Change
Doors will open wide, Doors will also close
Doors for which I will continue to be thankful
As they connect me with caring, loving others; those
For whom I was and am so very grateful to enjoy
In time spent together with work, play, and learning
And whose friendships I hope to continue to employ
As they've helped me fill my days and weeks
With fun, joyful adventure, serious times as well
And with meaning in life which to me still speaks
That, change is good but change has its own mind
I wish them well and do the same for myself
With love and emotions that will have rhymed!