The Empty Nest has changed our lives. Randy’s double lung transplant has changed our lives. Our son married 3 weeks ago (it was a lovely wedding!) and our daughter is getting married October 3. I always imagined keeping this house, our home where both of my children grew up, and having our grandchildren to stay. Now I’m not feeling that desire.
Many friends have moved away, after children leave friends don’t have as much in common and drift apart. Our house isn’t filled with kids or teens, it is big and silent and needs upkeep and care that I have neither the interest or the ability to do. I don’t want to decorate, or redecorate, or get new furniture…I barely even cook a meal. The truth is, this lifestyle does not fit us anymore.
I have lovely ideas of selling everything and taking a trip around the world…but that is not really practical given Randy’s need to be within 2 hours of a major lung transplant center. Asia is out, Africa is out, and I’m not comfortable with him going to South America either. I believe we will head to Australia next year, the medical care there is quite good. Europe is always possible, and some Caribbean destinations are close enough. We have a second home in Cozumel, Mexico…but the medical care is substandard for any serious condition. When we go somewhere together I have to check and make sure medical flights are available. We are planning a trip to Cozumel in 5 weeks…it will be two years since Randy has been there. He has been cleared to dive, but the first sign of illness and he needs to be on a plane.
I have solo trips I am taking…a citizen science trip with Marine Megafauna Foundation‘s Ray of Hope in July, a dive trip to Socorro in November, and I will be with Ray of Hope next July in Indonesia, and with a turtle rescue in Cairns as well. My citizen science and challenging dive trips have to be taken now…how can I know how many years I have left to take these trips? You have to be able to handle the conditions, and who knows how long I will be able to? That’s not negativity, just fact. If there is anything I am certain of, it is that nothing is certain.
So…the thought process has begun, and I know I need to start going through the house, room by room, and getting rid of “stuff”. That is the first step. Many steps will follow, I am sure. Who knows what will happen, or where we might end up? We will just have to ride the waves that come.