Guest Column: Who am I now in 2022

The seasons of life fly by!

Time changes everything, including how we see ourselves.

A major change in our lives may cause us to ask, “Who am I now?”

In 2007 I published a book called “Who Am I Now? Growing Through Life’s Changing Seasons” with Pleasant Word, a division of Winepress. The book was written while I was teaching a women’s Bible class with women aged 18 to 93. We discussed the various seasons in a woman’s life. I loved the variety of views expressed as we talked and laughed together.

In January 2022, my husband, Don, passed away and a week after his funeral, I moved to Hearthstone Assisted Living at Pleasant View Luther Home in Ottawa.

My life has changed in many ways. I greatly miss my much-loved husband of 63 years.

There have been other decisions and adjustments too. I realized I am growing older, and I didn’t want to live alone. I also want to make it convenient for my children to care for me as I grow older.

I considered my options, and I chose PVL.

It’s a lovely place, with beautiful, flowered grounds, good food, compassionate staff and lovely apartments.

But what would I do all day?

I recalled my previously written book — “Who Am I Now? Growing Through Life’s Changing Seasons” and I thought about the class I had led.

Just outside the door of my new apartment is a comfy seating area with a fireplace, a sofa and easy chairs. I thought It would be a perfect place where I could teach a similar class and make friends with other residents here at PVL.

When I first arrived, everyone was confined to their room because of COVID. I walked the lonely halls telling myself there were real people behind those and I would meet them eventually. Delicious meals were brought to our rooms three times a day and we received excellent care.

When COVID restrictions were lifted, I assumed it would be a joyous time getting to know everyone in the dining room. But COVID had affected all of us. We wore our masks and came out of our rooms. But most people were quiet and didn’t talk much.

I thought we needed more times of fellowship together and I remembered “Who Am I Now? Growing in Life’s Changing Seasons.”

We could grow in this changing season too!

I checked with the activities director and she was enthusiastic about the idea.

We did it! A small group of women began meeting once a week at “Two on Tuesdays” in the social area outside my room. We have met for 17 weeks to review the stories from my book. We also have shared memories of various seasons of our lives and stories we love to tell. It’s been an adventure for all of us.

Our last chapter was called, “I’m Having the Time of My Life!”

Our next study will be in the Book of Psalms and the men will be invited.

We will continue to meet at Two on Tuesdays, at Room 115H in the Hearthstone Building of PVL.

We are looking forward to more times together and hoping our group will grow.

I may even find out “who I am now!”

  • Carole Ledbetter, of Ottawa, is a former Write Team member. Her books, “Who Am I Now? Growing Through Life’s Changing Seasons,” and “Carole’s Columns” are available at Prairie Fox Books in Ottawa.