We signed up a new client today, an eighty-year-old man. That’s unusual enough, but further along in our email correspondence, he told us that his wife and business partner of over fifty years died last year. He knows he has to keep busy, he said, so he decided to try this new venture. He had polio as a baby and he’s “getting more decrepit by the year,” so he walks with a cane now, but he’s still fairly active, and still plans on packing and shipping merchandise to us himself. I don’t mind saying that I feel a bit awestruck.
As I said, in my circumstances, the worst thing I could imagine is having to outlive one’s spouse. I remember reading a poem a long time ago where the author reflected on various types of fame and glory and concluded by saying something to the effect of “I’ve lived long enough to only be impressed by those who simply do what they have to do.” Amen to that.