I have always tried to make decisions that were based on what was best for everyone. Never on what was best for me. But also not what was deemed best for some other individual person. We could have kept my wife alive longer. But she still would have died (there is no cure and no treatment for ALS). A month, a year, two years later? Nobody knows. But the financial implications were the stuff of nightmares. And there were five other souls to consider. Even she refused to make any decision that would have affected the outcome. And make no mistake, if she had said: “I want this.” I would have done that. No matter what I thought of it. Not deciding is also a decision. She chose her children and her family over herself. As have I.
Retirement at 55 will be a challenge. Because of the choices I made for my children. If I had chosen otherwise, I’d be comfortable and pretty much without a care in the world. Instead, I’ll carry some of the weight for a long time. But I still get something few people have. A chance to change my life. At an age my wife never got to see. And I will be forever grateful to her for making the sacrifice she made to make that possible. But I’ll also carry some guilt about it. And you know what? That’s okay too. It keeps me grateful for the woman she was and the love we had together.