El Loco Libre

Restarting Life At 78

A Pilgrim's Journey

Final Update:   July 6, 2021

Originally Published April, 2021

Giordi And His Prairie.jpg

Ever wondered what is it like to consider starting all over at almost age 78 while facing - at some future time - developing dementia in the form of Alzheimer's Disease?   
I invite you to read along as I write about my latest and likely last adventure, a potential separation, possible divorce, and maybe a new yet short life in my future, all the while wondering what I did wrong.   On the other hand, I could just possibly find out that it is all better and I will be happier where I am now in my life, no matter what I do or don't do.  It all comes down to how I/we view things, how they are interpreted, and the future actions we take.  Luckily, I have a mate, wife, and best friend (I called her Angel in previous version of this website, but she is more understanding and her skin is a lot thicker now, so I will revert to her real name, Liz).  
Scary?  You bet!   Is it appropriate?   We shall see.  I was given the opportunity as a choice I had to make rapidly, in concert with whatever else happens, until close to The End. 

As often happens, we (Liz and I) are in ongoing discussions within two separate frames of reference and viewpoints (that often seems to be the way in my relationships) and we have had some very deep and emotional discussions about what to do.  We take turns being the "parent" and the "child" and it is interesting and informative to play around with different roles.  I often somewhat grudgingly accept the role of the "bad guy" since I do it so well, have had lots of practice, and do not confuse who I know I am with who other people think I am.

Angel and I are very different people, respond to different stimuli, and view the world in differing ways, which of course can always be part of the problem.   I will further say that our conversations are quite expansive in the sense that no topics are off limits, and there is a degree of honesty in each of us that I think we (meaning all of us) should try to use more often.  I could have benefitted from this newly found skill in my past relationships, including two marriages.

However, we seemingly come from different planets, to use a hackneyed phrase, and I suppose I should admit to have visited many planets in my lifetime (virtually, not actually), and use those experiences in my discussions, and not always pleasantly.   But we are being more and more direct and open with each other, which is good.   I am reminded of the old phrase that diplomats sometimes use to describe tense negotiations:  "We had a frank exchange of views."   The question for me is did each of us listen with an open mind, and with a willingness to change our own mind if appropriate? 

Further good news is that a local therapist who knows our history and whom we both respect has an opening soon, and Angel and I are looking forward to some questions, input, and perhaps guidance, all the while knowing that it is totally up to Angel and me what the outcome will be.  This is however in the relatively distant future as I write this, due to his scheduling constraints.  For now, we are on our own.

We shall see as we continue to develop this theme in real time as it happens.

Just now, in a stunning change in the situation, within the last 36 hours Liz and I had a very good and fruitful discussion of where we are, where we would like to be, and what needs to happen to get there.  Sounds simple enough;  the lingering question is why not earlier and why now at almost the last minute?

It appears we both finally realized what was at stake, that it was worth preserving and enhancing, and we each needed to move off of our heavily fortified positions and engage in fruitful discussions, to use yet another common phrase.

I will further acknowledge that I write this from my point of view, and Angel certainly has hers, and will contribute her input to this website when she deems it appropriate, and through me, and I have promised to represent her thoughts as accurately as possible.

A lot happened quickly from the beginning of the discussion to the latest breakthrough, which ended with her inviting me to move back into the master suite from the spare guest room I had inhabited for a short time.  There was no great drama, no tearful confessions, no great and thunderous conclusions, only a jointly held view that the relationship was too important to both of us to let go in this way and at this time.   It was all so simple and yet profound, and the ease and acceptance of the resolution was stunningly easy.  We both have substantial experience in starting and ending relationships, and this is the third marriage for each of us.

And so we have both learned (perhaps one of us more than the other, and I am not speaking of Liz), and we are together better than we have been - ever.

All of a sudden much is happening with our house, all manner of improvements and repairs are under way, and our communications are open, with thanks for the past.  The sun is warmer, the breezes gentler, the animals are cuter, the neighbors are more open, and the sky bluer.

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Michael McCaffery