Part 43: Searching for a meaningful life
So—phase I is completed and I’m ready for phase II. I know I can manage life on my own; the next question is what do I want to do with the rest of it?
There are many societal issues that demand attention; families who are homeless for whatever cause, health care for all our citizens, equal opportunity, the ongoing fight against any and all kinds of prejudice, responding appropriately to natural disasters, saving Puget Sound, maybe all the oceans, the list is endless. These problems are all so gigantic they become overwhelming. Can one person make a difference? I hope so and am determined to add my voice and support and personal involvement at every opportunity. The first step in any journey is to actually move, commit, do something. Maybe I can even convince others to join in.
This time of the year we are inundated with requests for financial support from all manner of worthy organizations, some more worthy than others, some just scams. How to decide? Should I donate enough to one or two to possibly make a difference or give a little to as many as possible? If I win the lottery could I make all of them happy? Not likely, especially since I don’t participate in that fool’s game.
Less altruistic than the above goals and resolutions, Charlize and I are ready for the next phase. It is a good thing that she is such a people dog because I am considering “dating” again.
Rosalie and I used to tease each other. We would claim the only reasons we stayed together were family, laziness and the fact that dating would be just awful.
“I cannot imagine you keeping a conversation going and being charming for a whole evening,” she would tell me. “How could you possibly date someone?”
“Well, you wouldn’t have any trouble talking,” I would respond “but if you didn’t feel anything for the person you were out with could you really continue to be charming?”
After his losing his wife of 52 years to cancer, Dr. David Gross is writing about his experiences.
“Probably not, not much patience for that,” she would laugh. “Guess we’ll just have to keep each other.”
It was, of course, just teasing. She was always talkative and charming and wouldn’t have had any trouble dating at all. She was also much too kind to hurt anyone’s feelings. Conversely I tend to be taciturn and especially bad with “chit chat.” I can maintain a conversation of substance if interested in the topic but cocktail party conversation eludes me. Rosalie could and often did initiate a conversation and charm complete strangers. I expect I will have to rely on Charlize to break the ice and serve as a subject of conversation.
The good news is that given the realities of the life insurance actuarial tables, there are significantly more eligible ladies than men out there. The problem is how to meet them.
Rosalie and I didn’t realize until the 21st century came around that we had a relationship, we just thought we were married. Still not certain I am ready for a “relationship,” however that is defined. Doesn’t seem like that much of a challenge says me, tongue in cheek. I’m relying on Charlize’s stamp of approval, of course. Love my dog, love me, or is it vice versa? What are you laughing at Charlize?
— By Dr. David Gross
After his losing his wife of 52 years to cancer, Dr. David Gross has embarked on an extended road trip with his new dog, Charlize, and is writing about his experiences.