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Things I take for granted
A multi-generational family's take on the emotional and ethical issues that surround assisted reproduction technology.

It took me by surprise when a doctor who hadn't examined me before asked if I was widowed. "No, I've been divorced for 25 years," I replied. "That's a long time to be alone," he commented. I was bemused because I never think of myself as "alone." To the contrary, I looked after my mother for the last ten years of her life. Then, for the next ten years,I helped my daughter, a single mom, with bringing up my darling grandchild. At various times, we all lived together. When I lived in Toronto, I filled my home with joy by hosting international students. My daughter and I are welcoming other students from abroad in Los Angeles. Our lives are replete with friends and meaningful activities. Alone? Only when I am at my computer, and then I'm with you. All of you. Romance? There have been several post-divorce men in my life, but I have never wanted to marry or live with any of them. Why? Maybe because my cup was already running over. At 73, I suppose it's still a possibility, one that grows remoter every year, but one I still entertain. Faith? Yes, I have that too to sustain me, the feeling of connectedness to something larger than myself. In 1994, my book, "How To Live Alone Until You Like It...And Then You Are Ready For Somebody Else" was published (see www.timesolvers.com). By the time I finished writing it in 1990, I realized that I didn't like living alone, and so I invited my mother to live with me. When she passed away, I moved to L.A. to be with my children and grandchildren. "Alone" is not my cup of tea. As I consider the happy moments that fill my life -- even without a Husband No. 2 (in L.A., that's practically being a virgin), I realize that I should not take any of them for granted. For someone who has been "alone" for 25 years, I'm very, very lucky.

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"Alone" is a word that can jar a depressed person.

Your "new" doctor's question and comment were probably fishing for clues that might reveal depression. But it sounds like your ebullient response wiped that notion from his thoughts.

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I like to think of it as

I like to think of it as being with myself. . .and anyone else I choose.

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No wonder your smile is so great!

I have always loved your smile when I saw your pix. It made me happy. Now I know why you are smiling. You like yourself and you obviously love others and enjoy being around them. You are definitely not alone--maybe sometimes not as much as you would like if you are like some of the rest of us. Ha. Ha.