The Meaning of Gold

Well…this is it. Five days left for me in California and needless to say the packing up, the trashing, the shredding, the giving away of possessions that I would have preferred to keep but couldn’t because of lack of space in my daughter’s apartment, has been both a nightmare and mournful passage.

I’m not big on things. I don’t own a theatre-size plasma TV or wall-to-wall designer furniture. Lovely as they are, they are luxuries, pretty possessions that merely take up space and I know will be harder to pack the next time around. A time for me which is now and a time which does seems to be cropping up more and more these days.

Which was okay when I was younger. I certainly had more stamina back then and the aches and pains would eventually fade away after a few hours. Now…they just stay.

It’s all good though because I’ve pretty much whittled this whole uprooting thing down to a science. I’m an efficient machine my mother can’t understand how I do what I do.
How I so easily pick myself up and just go. I let her think what she wants because I couldn’t bear her worrying about me. At 86 with an already failing memory, one that can’t sustain any real conversation of thought, sadly I say very little these days.

Not once have I surrendered to her how tough it really is. Transplanting one self goes far beyond the physical exertion. It bottoms down to a home is more than just four walls. It’s what you fill each of those rooms with. The gaps of spaces that comprise a life. The people you choose to bring in. For me it were those tiny nuggets of gold, the handful of women I somehow fortunately found—or should I say they found me—who enriched my day-to-day world with shoulders of steel, with laughs, with tears, and with lots of beers and martinis that might otherwise have been a humdrum of meaningless hours strung together and often times walked alone.

I cannot say how differently this chapter of my life would have turned out if I hadn’t meet them. But as I once again turn the page I’m realizing something I’ve thought about a lot these days: that over time and distance there are some things in life you can easily adjust yourself to and eventually learn to live with. Then there are other things, you never will.

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