Short Story Writing and a bit of Musing

In the past I stuck mainly to journal or diary writing, or I tried to come to grips with some of my childhood memories. Only occasionally did I resort to fiction writing in the form of a short story. As far as my reading tastes are concerned I must say, in my younger days I always preferred reading novels: Only occasionally would I read a short story.

These days the time I spend  reading novels seems to be getting less and less, even though I still like novels a lot. Today for instance I spent half an hour reading a short story. It turned out I did very much love this story. It was a story I had been reading many years ago and I could still remember the subject of this story since this is a subject that interests me very much: What happens to a mother when she is suddenly widowed?

Barbara, one of my neighbours, is the author of this story titled “For better or worse”. Many years ago Barbara won a local award for this story. As I said I could still remember having read this story. I asked Barbara the other day, whether she is still writing. I told her how I remembered this story of hers. The mother in the story moves in with the daughter´s family after her husband died. She lives with the daughter, son-in-law and their two children for several months. In the end she decides, it is better to move on. Living together all the time is just not the right thing and brings about serious tensions in the family.

In the story we learn that the daughter is not at all like the mother. The daughter is more easy going whereas the mother as a very tidy person. This reminds me how all my children are very different from me. I am definitely not a very tidy person. None of my daughters nor my son are extraordinarily tidy either, but they are easy going in lots of different ways, not the way I am, not at all. Living with any one of them I can imagine might lead to frustrations all around. I just cannot imagine to live with any of them indefinitely. Maybe if there was a granny flat, it could work out?!

Well, I am fortunate, that my husband is still alive. God willing, we may still have quite a few years together. We live in a three bedroom house, called a villa, for it is in a corporate housing complex. There is a master bedroom, a guest bedroom and the third one is a computer room but can also be made into a bedroom. Our living room has an extension sofa for overnight guests. I always love to have family staying overnight at our place. We call ourselves lucky that we can make room like this for overnight guests.

Several women who used to live in our complex, eventually moved away after their husbands died.  They live now in retirement villages. Another neighbour, who was recently widowed, keeps thinking that she might want to move too. She is a very tidy person. She feels, the effort to keep her place and surroundings in the condition that she is used to, might become too much for her with advancing age.

Some years ago I wrote a fictional short story about a hostel for the aged. I used to have a friend in a hostel like this. This hostel was a very beautiful place on top of a hill with terrific views towards the ocean. In the beginning my friend loved her stay there. She was still mobile enough to go on outings with some of the other residents. Over the years she aged a lot and did not feel like going out any more. It turned out the people in that hostel who ended up needing nursing care, could often not be transferred to a nursing home because of bed shortages there. It was sad to see residents, who required constant nursing care, struggle on in the hostel where it became more and more difficult for the staff to look after all these feeble residents. In the hostel was not enough staff for nursing care. A lot of the residents were just sitting around all day, half dazed and not being able to participate in the life that was going on around them!

Originally I thought I would not mind spending my final days in a hostel like this with my own room and private facilities. But a nursing home? Oh, I hope it will not come to this. I hope that I can die before I need a nursing home. On the other hand, a person who is that far gone, maybe does not really mind too much to have to stay in a nursing home.


16 thoughts on “Short Story Writing and a bit of Musing

  1. My father-in-law is in a rehab facility which is part of a nursing home — hospital full here. So, I unfortunately see the residents, many of whom will be transferred to long-term care. Sad.

    1. Best wishes, Renee, for your father-in-laws full recovery.
      As sad as it is, some people just do need long-term care.
      I suppose it is something to be grateful for when this kind of care is available when needed.
      Thanks for commenting, Renee.

  2. My mother is 87 and she lives in a two and a half bedroom villa with a garage. Her spare bedroom and pull-out sofa gets a lot of use. I am glad that she is still independent as I think she would go crazy in a retirement village or nursing home. 🙂

    1. Wow, I hope I am still going to be this independent when I am 87.
      Some people can live independently even in their nineties. Your mother may well be living like this for many more years to come.
      Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for this comment. 🙂

  3. Don’t worry too much. We are still together and we still are in charge of our life together.we take the days as they come. We can be happy that no major illness is complicating our life together.

  4. Dear Aunty Uta:

    I would love to read your story. You should post it on your blog. It sounds wonderful.

    My 94 year old grandma is confronting the very issue you describe. Her 20 year younger partner (they might as well be married and for all I know they are, but they both had nasty divorces from their first spouses which sort of spoiled marriage for both of them) has severe diabetes that is affecting his mobility and speech. She has trouble getting him up when he falls, but also is unwilling to have a live-in nurse. They have a live-in person, someone who does exactly as my grandma says which suits her well as she is a very exact person, but if something medically emergent occurs, they will still have to wait the critical minutes until the ambulance comes. I can only support from afar as I live eight hours away, and respect her autonomy and choices. She is a strong-willed, amazing woman whom I love deeply. I pray she and her partner, who is more like a grandfather to me than my biological one ever was, will be OK. I thank you for presenting this important topic from your point of view. It reminds me that our elders need protecting and cherishing.



      Hi Elizabeth, in 2007 i wrote the above imaginary story set into the year 2017. My husband responded by writing his own imaginary story about Jack and Betty living to be 100. I have just reblogged this story, called “On the Eve of a new Century”. I give you here another link to a blog about my friend Eva who lived in a hostel for seniors.

      I thank you for your comment, dear Elizabeth. Your grandma sounds like an amazing woman, indeed, It is great that you have such a bond with her and her partner. As sad as a separation might be for these dear old people, in my experience severe diabetes can be very disabling and needing constant nursing care.

      Aunty Uta

    1. Dear Devon Texas,
      I can still remember having read about your friend Jayne. I am sure you did the best you could and that she knew it and you know it. yes, you can be proud of yourself. It is wonderful that you had this bond with Jayne.
      There are some things we cannot change. But I think I know what you mean, we cannot help but pondering sometimes: What if?
      It looks like you have your future planned quite well.
      Wishing you all the best.
      Love, Uta 🙂

  5. Interesting topic Uta , we don’t know what is in-store as we age. As you say we only hope we are able to get about and carry on the best we can. Enjoying every day that comes sounds just about right I’d say.
    My friend is 94 she is still living in her own home. Two daughters who live near by keep and eye on her. We often go out for lunch and have a little chat .
    Enjoy your weekend
    Sheila x

    1. Thanks for commenting, dear Sheila. People like your friend, 94, give us great encouragement that maybe we can achieve this too to stay independent for a long time with the help of some family and friends.
      Yes, we can still enjoy life despite the horrible things that occur and we hear about in the media. I hope your weekend is a good one.
      Love, Uta 🙂

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