Cyn’s Unhappy Retirement
Cynthia had moved to the retirement resort soon after the death of her husband. They’d been married for fifty years, and that celebration had been graced by the attendance of family and friends they’d worked with and known for most of their married life. Knowing her husband Steve was soon to enter the final stages of cancer had cast a pall over the celebration but everyone had put on a cheerful face for the occasion not wanting to acknowledge the inevitable on that day.
The funeral had been a large affair. Steve was a well-known figure in the community having enjoyed a wide-ranging number of activities during his productive career. He’d been on occasions president of the Rotary Club and Bowls Club as well as a member of the county council. He’d started small after college in the construction industry moving to building as a sideline for himself out of hours after his obligations to his employer had been met.
As his reputation for excellence in the finished product increased so did the demand for his services until he quit his day job and went into business for himself. He met Cynthia at the Bowls Club and their relationship built into marriage. Cynthia had completed her business administration degree and quit her job to manage accounting and legal for the blossoming business while Steve concentrated on the expanding production side. It was a successful partnership.
As business expanded, they employed experienced managers and began to take an increasing interest in community activities with more spare time at their disposal. Their children grew up being nurtured as good citizens and given the best education in their chosen career field. They had four children three girls and a boy.
Cynthia sat looking out over the enclosed back yard of her three-bedroom unit in the retirement resort. The resort was not cheap so monthly administrative charge being as it was dictated those in this resort were from the well-heeled upper classes of society. But the charge covered maintenance and grounds which were kept immaculate, and she no longer had to be concerned about rates and taxes. The service even included free internet and cable which was no doubt built into the large monthly administrative charge, but she was glad she didn’t have to hassle with any of these services anymore. All she had to deal with was the power connection and telephone. That was a direct deposit to the retirement village bank account.
She’d grown tired of the annual tours in their large recreation vehicle with all its comforts when her husband was alive but ageing so as their children began to fight over its possession when Steve had indicated he no longer needed it after being diagnosed with cancer they decided to keep peace in the family by selling it and dividing proceeds between their four children. They could buy their own if they really needed to have one.
Well, they obviously were not children anymore though she still maintained memories of them as children. They were mature, educated, and successful adults with families of their own and her grandchildren were in the process of higher education if not already working. Milly and Graham had taken over their parent’s corporation management and Beth and Sue had opted for a career in health care. Steve and Cynthia had already divided the bulk of their wealth among them, so they all wanted for nothing. Cynthia was still a wealthy woman even after distributing this portion of their wealth. While the recreation vehicle had been a sore point between the four children that was unusual as they were a close-knit family and were now happily engaged with each other now that temporary irritation was out of the way.
Cynthia with all the conveniences and services now available to her was still depressed. She was naturally depressed over the loss of her husband a year previous but as she stared at the immaculate back yard of the unit, she realized there were other issues contributing to her depression. She understood she was on the count down herself and no longer possessing the energy and vision she once had. She desperately wanted to feel useful and engaged with the wider community as she had been all her life.
The resort offered all kind of activities the bulk of residents took advantage of, but it meant making friends all over again to make this meaningful and she was not ready for that. She missed her friends in the city. She’d thought going to this beautiful seaside resort would lift her spirits, but it had separated her from her children in the city who were constantly visiting when she was there and now, they had to travel an hour to see her, so their visits were infrequent.
Her children and grandchildren were in contact with her through Facetime but that was not the same as seeing them in the flesh. She’d had a temporary reprieve from her depression when two of her grandchildren visited with her and spent two weeks of their vacation from school with her recently. But they’d spent most of their time down at the beach which was natural for young adults constantly looking for entertainment.
Cynthia glanced at her iPad and the online book she’d purchased on a whim this morning. The title had caught her eye, “After Grief.” The author Dr Sabastian Simpson was reputed to be an expert. What did he know of her situation? The book summary had reported he’d suffered loss of his family in a tragic accident, and he felt that qualified him to pontificate on her situation? Instead of being helped by the first chapter she’d read she felt resentful he was describing her so accurately and turned off her iPad.
She stretched and went into her bedroom to change into something more presentable. She’d head for the promenade overlooking the ocean. It was a fifteen-minute walk to her favorite coffee shop where she would sit watching surfers and those out in boats on the horizon. The beauty of the ocean with constantly changing cloud formations relaxed her each day and she’d return to the resort in a better frame of mind. Now and then she’d find someone interesting to talk with as they sat sipping their coffee and by this time, she was becoming familiar with those who managed shops all along this street. She had to grudgingly admit she enjoyed this daily trip and greetings from those she’d come to know there.
She was startled as her iPhone trilled and vibrated on the table. Picking it up she searched the screen for a familiar number. It was too early for one of her children to be phoning her. She had sudden misgivings, what if something had happened to one of them? She answered quickly.
“How can I help you this morning?”
To be continued.
© Copyright 2022 Ian Grice, “ianscyberspace.” All rights reserved