There's a wonderful sense of belonging
My wife Joan, my lifetime companion of almost 60 years, knew what it took to make a house a home. Life with her was full of comfort and joy, and although she had a faulty heart, nothing stopped her from being a wonderful and devoted wife. Despite her health complications she was always there for me, looking after my interests and wellbeing. A few years before Joan passed away, I took over all of the household duties, thinking that when she left, I would be prepared. How wrong I was.
Joan and I had lived in the same house in Heathmont, Victoria for over 30 years and were lucky to have caring neighbours. There was no end to the efforts people made to invite me for meals and out in the evenings, but at the end of it all, I found it difficult to return home – without Joan it wasn’t the same.
I had many things to keep me occupied – I was on the committee of two camera clubs, involved in a charitable organisation called Heartbeat Hepworth and loved gardening – but without Joan to chat to, and admire the flowers growing in the garden, I soon lost interest.
So what changed? A couple of years ago, I heard that Meadowvale in Victoria had Serviced Apartments available. I immediately placed my deposit on one of them, and while it was a big decision to move into a retirement village, it’s one I’m relieved I made. Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. There’s no denying that selling a house – and downsizing 60 years of accumulated possessions – can be stressful, but since I moved to Meadowvale, I’ve never looked back.
I used to often wonder why residents of retirement villages decide to downsize, sell their homes and move into a community like Meadowvale. There are no doubt hundreds of people with just as many reasons, all with their own stories and experiences. For me, it’s the fact that I’m never alone. There are always people around to chat to and someone to sit with in the dining room at meal times. I will always miss Joan, but I no longer feel lonely. I have so many friends here that there’s a constant sense of belonging. I’m pleased to say that once again, I’m enjoying all that life has to offer and focussing back on my interests and passions.