You don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there. And you arrive just the same. Ghanaian saying

Matters of Life and Death

Spring is moving right along. Yesterday the temperature hit seventy degrees. People were on the patio below my windows sunbathing. The family who lives in the first floor apartment that opens onto the patio who have their own good-sized garden plot were out digging and generally making way for planting season. The squirrel was in the oak tree beside my window looking for leaf buds to eat. The resident geese were in attendance. The pool has been drained and awaits a string of days warm enough for a fresh coat of paint to be applied before it can be filled with water. Summer is on the way.

Meanwhile my word game friends and I are having conversations about end-of-life matters after we read a book on the subject. I thought I had taken care of everything when my attorney in Chicago drew up Power of Attorney forms for health and finance along with a new will before I moved here to my new home. Just to be sure, I went over these forms and discovered they were already obsolete. They were created using Illinois forms and in my previous married name. I went to the Senior Center to get Ohio forms and start over. I even picked up a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form for good measure. A trusted friend referred me to an attorney who would help me draw up a new will as well as check out the Ohio forms I had filled out. At our first meeting the attorney explained that I did not want a DNR at this time. This stopped me short. I had filled out and sent mine to my doctor who now has it on file. I had put my copy of the DNR on my refrigerator door where the EMS squad knows to look in the event of an emergency. After my attorney counseled against my having one at present I thought about the days before there were such forms. My mother had congestive heart failure and was taken to the hospital in an unresponsive condition. The doctor revived her and she lived three more good years before her heart failed for good. I went home and called my doctor to revoke the DNR he had on file for me. Then I removed my copy from the refrigerator door and tore it up – for now. Having an open-ended future and playing it by ear is a relief. I feel free to live and enjoy my good health and strong mind. I could be wrong but I’m willing to take that chance.

My attorney, who really knows her stuff, discussed a new will with me. She plans to make it so financial bequests to my sons are not subject to probate. She advised that personal bequests of family furniture and other such objects be included in a letter I’ll write that is to be referred to in my will. This letter sheds new light on my Last Will and Testament. It will be my last chance to surprise my sons with gifts – written in my own words instead of legal language. I look forward to writing it. Altogether I am looking ahead to aging in a new light. It’s like I will have training wheels to assist me but freedom to ride with the wind in my hair.