Many years ago, a popular magazine, “The Reader’s Digest,” ran an article every month on “My Most Unforgettable Character.”  In the three years since my husband Jason died, I have discovered many unforgettable people who make my life livable.

Jason and I were inseparable.  From the day we married, aside from our professions, we did everything together.  We never needed his/her nights out.  We shared friends and interests and enjoyed the same kind of entertainment.  We were great readers and could spend hours, side by side, reading and reaching out to touch each other every few chapters.  There is no greater sensation than the feel of flesh on flesh; no greater way to express “being there” for another human being.

The world, as I knew it, ended with the loss of my husband; nothing will ever fill the void created by his departure.  If I wanted to live I had to find a new way to face life, a new path to travel…and I did want to live.  

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My children were and are wonderful.  My daughter, Lisa, calls three to four times a day.  In between teaching her classes, on her way home from work, early morning to wake me and at day’s end to say goodnight.  She and her husband, Schuyler, live in New Jersey and visit regularly.  
My daughter, Ilene, who lives in Somers was my link to the Somer’s Record by informing the editor I had settled here.  Because I am somewhat homebound she does a great deal of my shopping as does my sister, Nelle, who also became my chauffer after I gave my car to my grandson Chris.  Nelle and I also speak at least once a day.

My grandson, Brian, who, when he got his driver’s license called to tell me he would be happy to help in any way, has kept his promise and my grandson, Justin, a computer genius, tends to my computer remotely.

But family alone cannot fill some gaps.  Rather than burden them with my fears and complaints, I found Paola, an empathetic human being as well as a gifted therapist.  She is my confidant, the person to whom I can confide without being afraid of derision or judgement.  Paola is helping me to see the changes in my life from a new, different and optimistic perspective.  

For as long as I can remember I practiced ballet exercises for 30 minutes every morning.  These have become a little too strenuous for me as a Seasoned Citizen.  Fortunately, I was put in touch with Suzanne, a physical therapist, who helps me keep my muscles from atrophying and whose ‘hands on’ massage is therapeutic and comforting.  She, like Paola, is patient, helpful, and understanding.

Two years ago, when I realized there was some housework I could no longer do, I met Monica who lived in Brewster.  She was thinking of starting a cleaning service and would come every two weeks to help me.  When she moved to New Jersey last year I was devastated.  Monica is someone who enjoys her work and needs no instruction.  She takes pride in making everything sparkle.  Imagine my delight when she agreed to come once every week…that’s a long drive, but I think she feels the friendship between us.  (In case anyone in our area needs household help, just let me know.  She’s the greatest!)

We come now to the person I consider my lifeline, my son-in-law Curtis.  Before anything else I want to thank my daughter Ilene for sharing her husband with me.  Aside from being intellectually gifted a great story teller and good company, he is, by avocation, an EMT.  Curtis goes to Haiti every year for a week or two to offer his services to a hospital there.  Not only humans, but animals also flock to him…raccoons, squirrels, birds, cats, dogs…he understands all of us and is always there for me.

This is my dream team, my pathfinders, the unforgettable characters who have made my life livable.  They can never take Jason’s place, but they have helped me to leap over the great chasm of loneliness which, unfortunately, is always filled with quicksand.

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