A few years later we bought a house. It seemed small at first, what with the children and my Dad all needing a room of their own. Dad moved in with us and, again, the dynamics of our family changed. It was a mad dash for me to get everyone fed in the mornings and brought to their separate High Schools on time. I spent at least an hour and a half twice a day, or more, just driving kids back and forth. Now both of them are in college, and my Dad is gone, so the house and my spare time suddenly stretched out around me. What is that universal law? I think, it says that every emptiness must be filled. At first, the sadness rushed in and threatened to up-end my precarious emotional balance. Then the people that I know became the mouthpiece of reason. They spoke what I already knew to be right: "Get yourself in order, Dina, find what to do with your life!" So, at 55 I'm learning to live again, and live well. It seems, that the emptiness also attracted a few new friends, who fill the void in my heart.
The flowers are blooming in the garden now. Taka turned out to be a mad planter: he filled our backyard with dozens of plants. Unfortunately, the previous occupants of our little green lot, namely, the moles, think that he does it in order to provide sustenance for the generations of a mole population. Taka and they are in a war of wits. Who will win, nobody knows. The deer, the marauding cats and raccoons are also visiting us regularly. The deer walk in straight lines as they graze, and drop the seeds of the plants they have eaten someplace else from the other end. As the result, there are quite a few little trees and bushes growing in orderly rows in the garden.
These last twenty years contain a whole era of our, my family's, life. Human, animal, vegetable or mineral, we all have a go at our lot in life and make each other's lives richer and worth living. Would I do some things differently, if I could? WILL I do them differently? The next twenty years will provide an answer to that. I just hope that we'll always remember to laugh along the way!