Solitude at Sunset

This is Bob.

Bob lives in an Assisted Living facility in Middle Georgia. One day I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw someone repost a request from a nursing home where they were looking for pen pals for their residents. You see, during the pandemic, the residents are not allowed to leave or have guests and if they have to go outside of the building for doctor’s appointments, they are quarantined into their rooms for 14 days. You can only imagine the isolation and loneliness they probably feel.

When I flipped through the pictures, I saw Bob. He had kind, sad eyes. Wearing a white t-shirt and slacks, he reminded me so much of how my grandfather dressed as he got older. I could see his life alert hanging around his neck and a pair of readers in the center of the V of his shirt. This photo said a lot.

I looked at his interests and I realized I did not have a lot in common with him. Well, I do like politics, but I am always afraid to share what I am thinking, in fear of making someone angry. Regardless, I decided to send him a letter.

On Friday, I received a letter from Bob.

Bob lost his wife and is now “alone” in an Assisted Living facility. He has survived a multitude of ailments. After hearing about his latest diagnosis from the contact at the facility, I can only imagine the heart ache and sadness he is feeling. I can’t imagine what it feels like to conquer these mountains alone.

His story really touched me. You can read so much between the lines.

I have written Bob a second letter, this time it is two pages.

What I think frightens me or has at the very least awakened within me is the idea that you can live your entire life as fully as possible and when the sun begins to set…..

How does it feel? Will you feel a void? Will you savor the remaining moments? Will you lay on your bed and turn your back to the world and simply stare at the wall?

I remember my grandfather losing everyone. I remember the sadness just seeping out of him. It breaks my heart.

I am watching now as my own parents are approaching the sunset. Both are retired and honestly, not really by choice. Dad’s health got the best of him and mom’s organization reorganized without her. They are dealing with the aftermath, and let’s be honest, not all of us have good coping skills.

I think about my life choices and the fact that I never had children. Yes, I have step kids, but I came along much later and if anything happens to Tim, I seriously doubt, outside of making sure they get their inheritance and trust, I will be of great concern to them. Will I be in a facility, wishing and hoping and praying someone remembers me? After everything I have contributed? After everything I did?

OMG…. it just breaks the heart.

Published by nicolesdestinationunknown

Tourism Director * Freelance Writer * Southern * Catholic * Crazy Cat Lady * Wonder Women * Coffee Addict * Traveler * Voracious Reader * Cultural Junkie * *GSD Mom*

One thought on “Solitude at Sunset

  1. I share those concerns. No kids, very small family – a sister, a brother and a niece. My brother doesn’t live close by and we’ve never been close. My sister and I don’t talk frequently. My mom’s diagnosis and illness brought us in the same room, many times. Otherwise, it would be weeks etc without contact. My niece, that I poured so much into, is older now and, like my sister, is not very nostalgic. I am not on her radar, at all. Wow, this is getting deep. Maybe I will change my will.


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