My neighbor T. invited me over for coffee yesterday afternoon. I had chatted with her before, but this was the first formal "visit", if you will.
We went in the kitchen, and coffee was poured, and snacks were had, and we chatted. Visited. And she told me about her grown children, and her grandkids, and her friends, and trips she takes to Oregon. And she talked about her husband, who died of cancer three years ago at the age of eighty-two.
And I thought how sad it must be, to have spent your entire adult life with someone else, and then to have them die first, leaving you all alone for the first time in fifty years. I remember how lost my Mom was when my Dad passed away. She didn't even know how to balance a checkbook, for Pete's sake - Dad always did that stuff.
After our visit was over, I said my goodbyes to T. and went back to my place. And I thought, Wow, how lucky I am - at least I'll never have to deal with that. I'll never have to fight panic at the passing of someone I spent my entire life with.
Because I'm already alone.