After 27 years of marriage, and 2½ years of widowhood, I took a chance and accepted an invitation for lunch from a gentleman who volunteers where I do. He’s a nice man and while I was feeling some reluctance, I agreed to go. We talked about our spouses and family and while he made his feelings known, I began to feel uncomfortable. He had a crush on me and obviously wanted a more serious relationship. He wanted to hold my hand and give me hugs. On the second date, I realized I am not ready for this, and considering all the aspects, will probably never be. I’m enjoying my independence, time with friends and family, and at my age, I basically am not interested in a relationship. He’s a good man, and kind, and I broke things off as gently as I knew how. He has some health problems and while I took care of my husband after his surgery because I loved him and he needed me, I do not wish to willingly get in that situation again. I think this is a dilemma that many older women face. They miss their husbands and having someone to talk to in the evenings and go places with. They miss the companionship. Some marry again if they have the chance because they don’t want to live alone. I was alone for three months which was hard, for I’d never lived alone in my life. I finally allowed a friend to move in as a roommate. After a year and a half, I realized to my surprise that I was ready to have the house to myself and have my guestroom available to family and out-of-town friends. My roommate was finally accepted from the waiting list of the senior housing and now has an apartment of her own. I’m glad for her. To my surprise, the quiet of the house, the peacefulness of waking up and having that space was all I wanted. I had to put our beautiful Chessie, a shepherd mix, to sleep at the age of 16 in March, and at the end of July, I added Maya, my little rescue dog from Mexico, to the household. She’s a treasure, and keeps me smiling. I wake up in the morning and thank the Lord for another day, for health, and strength, for family and friends, and feel very blessed.