In a column I wrote on March 23rd of this year, I mentioned that my golf buddy Jim Sullivan’s wife Lisa was diagnosed with stage four cancer.
She succumbed last week and is now in heaven. She’s OK, it’s always those left behind and the changes that occur in their lives with a friend or loved one’s passing.
Jim said to me the other day that it’s God’s will that he is here and she is there. He said there is a purpose in everything. He said he is going to go enjoy the rest of his life and live it to its fullest. I thought that was really insightful and educational. At one point, Jim and Lisa were strumming along in life and the next day came change. Jim is 68. Lisa was 70. To me, those are young ages now since I’m approaching 63 around the November elections.
We baby boomers are still young and lively. Our brains are still those vibrant and energetic minds of our teens but the body isn’t cooperating. We’re still young enough to go enjoy life to the fullest, just the way Jim is looking at it, but we have to just make the decision to do it.
My ex, who could make a ton in her career as a nurse, is chucking it all and heading for Costa Rica, a place loaded with Americans living the simple life. You know you can figure out a way to live in your paradise for six months out of the year. It can be done. Canadians descend upon all points south in the winter and stay for up to six months. If the Canadians can do it, so can you.
My friends Don and Glenda worked up the cash to buy into a pretty nice boat down in La Paz along with a condo on the golf course. They pay for it all by renting out their furnished home in Carlsbad to those crazy Canadians. So they live down there on the golf course and their boat for however long they want. They love it.
Until something changes in the way we pay for our insurance and medical care, a devastating or catastrophic illness will wipe you out financially unless you’re Donald Trump or a former congressperson or senator or president. They get the Cadillac service and money is no object.
In Jim and Lisa’s case, she chose not to pursue chemo and radiation therapy coupled with a lot of expensive care. That was quite a sacrifice by Lisa for Jim and their diminished savings from the recession. If you get sick, the government picks up the full tab after you’re broke.
So what the heck? Go semi-retire, get a place like I did in Puerto Vallarta (seventh safest tourist destination in the world). It’s an emerging Third World country, but PV is truly a new city since Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s “Night of the Iguana” was filmed there in the late ‘50s. The two built a home there as well.
In my very first article in The Coast News, I said I’ve been lucky enough to get a taste of some of the finer places in the world including most of the United States. While visiting those places I was subconsciously picking my retirement home away from home or possibly permanent home.
I happened to choose Puerto Vallarta because of its easy access and proximity but I loved the Gili Islands in Bali and the cave homes south of Monte Carlo overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I love the Northern parts of Arizona and New Mexico is mystical.
I even enjoyed the Gulf down near Brownsville and back up to Gulf Shores in Alabama. I haven’t been to Guatemala or Costa Rica but people swear by it. Still slidin’ surfers may look at the South Sea Islands. It doesn’t matter. Just think about it.
I’m afraid of the way our country is headed. It isn’t just our politics but the world is getting ugly and the feelings people have about Americans is a bit weird. We’re the people that save all their asses. I digress ….
Go find peace where the people are nice and they respect who we are and for God’s sake, go live! And live in peace.
Joe Moris may be contacted at (760) 500-6755 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.