The Move To Colorado

Filed Under (Stories) by maripipi on 24-01-2010

Alaskan Cruise
Denver Flower
Spring Flowers
Pikes Peak, Mushroom Park
Gateway with clouds obscurring Pikes Peak.
Maripipi Island

I moved to Colorado to be with my two sons in 1996 after I retired from nursing. The first one in my family to move to Colorado was my youngest son who was in the Air Force stationed in Colorado. My youngest was followed by the next older brother, who upon his college graduation, visited and fell in love with Colorado, found a good job and stayed for keeps.

Though I was alone in New York, I was having fun because I had all my friends in the area. But in 1996, the hospital where I worked as a nurse, started downsizing. Since I was the most senior who would retire in a few years, I was offered an early retirement package. I accepted the offer and soon after that, my children in Colorado called me and invited me to live with them in Colorado so I can be closed to them. I was excited to leave the New York scene where I spent 36 years of my life. I wanted a change of environment. After saying goodbye to my friends, we rented a van and drove to Colorado.

I drove during the night and my two sons drove during the day. After 71 hours we were in Colorado. I was happy with my children.  We went to the parks, like Estes Park up in the mountains. When they were off from work, we went on outings.  It was beautiful. But after five months, the excitement of a new place wore off and I became bored and lonely.  I started to miss New York, my friends, my work and the familiar surroundings I used to visit.  I was always busy during my lifetime and there was nothing to do in Colorado.  I was left alone at home most of the time when my sons went to work and they would not arrive home until late at night.  I did not have friends. I befriended a  squirrel, which tapped my door every time it saw me pass by. I would offer the squirrel a handful of peanuts and after taking the peanuts the squirrel would run away to a hole in the tree and when it finished eating it would come back for more peanuts.

One day, I drove and wandered around Denver to explore the city.  I came across the senior citizen center and got in to satisfy my curiosity. I saw old people in wheel chairs, and some old people playing cards. Other groups were talking like they knew each other very well. I was looking for something to do like dancing, a trip to scenic place, a class of some educational discussion or quilting, sewing, crossstitch or knitting, or anything productive.  I stayed in the lobby for a few minutes and then took off. I said to myself “the senior citizen life is not for me” I came back home. At least there was my squirrel friend who noticed my presence. I made a sandwich and sat on the sofa to watch the television.

I felt so homesick and then I thought of Maripipi, the island in the Philippines where I was born and raised. Right there and then, I decided I would take three months vacation to my hometown. I had not been to the island for a long time. I was wondering how it would be now.  I told my two sons about my plan, packed and took the plane that took me to Manila. Then after a few boat rides, I was in the island. I was excited to be back in the island. Friends, classmates and neighbors came to see me.  One thing I noticed is the severe poverty of the island. Plastics and aluminum has replaced the pottery industry that feed families for generations. It would be an enormous job to make a change. But with good leadership and a foresight for the future, this town can boom once again.

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