A friend is leaving New York. Not permanently. At least I hope not permanently. Two of her three adult children, and four of her grandchildren, live in Philadelphia suburbs, and they’ve persuaded her to come down to be near them for the duration. She didn’t really want to go. She likes her own apartment—even though it’s small and has been afflicted with mice recently—but it’s where she’s lived for more than 10 years, and she likes to be in her own space.
But life has become really difficult for her, and she’s a worrier. She lives on the second floor of a small building, with no doorman and no elevator. She has had groceries delivered, but feels anxious about having to be so close to the delivery person, and then she has to carry everything up the stairs. She’s still teaching, and now doing it from home, so she can do that anywhere.
We met almost 30 years ago, in a seminar. She was going through a divorce, and when I started a seminar on motherhood, she was one of the first person I invited. Then she was the first person I invited to join a women’s group, a sort of consciousness-raising group, on women, aging, and sex. She lives nearby, so we have lunch occasionally beyond our monthly women’s group.
The social distancing, we haven’t seen each other so often, and I will try to recreate the women’s group via Zoom. But knowing she will be physically distant is different.
I know she’ll be back when this is all over (but who knows when that will be), and I hope she stays here, even after her planned retirement in a couple of years.
I’m participating in the 13th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 23 of the 31-day challenge. It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about. Join in!