Sixteen months ago, we returned to Cambridge, MA after living for nine months in a retirement community in Washington, DC. We came home because we missed our close friends of more than fifty years and our superb doctors. And we didn’t take to institutional living.
We had moved to Washington to be near our kids and grandkids and because we thought we’d enjoy being taken care of in a retirement community. But our kids and grandkids have their own lives and we didn’t enjoy living in a place where everybody was old.
But we did make some friends in our DC community and we arranged to drop in on them during our Thanksgiving visit to our kids in Maryland.
It felt odd to be back in the community I had rejected. As I walked the long corridor near the apartment we had lived in, I remembered thinking when we moved in, “Am I going to walk down this corridor for the rest of my life?” Not a good feeling then, and it wasn’t long before I realized that living there wouldn’t work for me.
But visiting there was terrific. We had lunch with the five people we felt closest to when we lived there. A lot of people recognized us in the café and greeted us warmly. Three lovely new buildings have been completed on the campus, giving it new apartments, a new gym, and a new auditorium. It’s a terrific place.
But not for us.