Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Friends, neighbors, and community August 2, 2011

My neighbor is sick. She hasn’t come out and said the words, but she’s hinted at breast cancer. It’s not the first time for her; she knows what to do.

I don’t know what her prognosis is; we haven’t talked about it, but I do know that her relatives all live several states away and that she’s a quiet person who has just a small group of friends. She’s never been married and she doesn’t have children, so I’m wondering: who’s going to take care of her if she gets really sick?

We live in a small compound (although that’s not quite the right word) with five little beach cottages on a lot. Mr. Fab and I live in the front house and the other four are all occupied by single women. One has grown kids and grandkids, but the others are childfree, like me. So, I wonder, if my friend needs care, will it come from us, her neighbors?

Maybe she has a plan figured out that doesn’t include us, but if my friend needed help, I’d be there for her and I’m encouraged to realize that, even though I don’t have children to care for me when I’m older, I do have friends, and I’m willing to be that those friends would be there for me, too, if I needed that. That thought alone makes me optimistic for the future and how this whole thing will work out.