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Downsizing: An emotional look back and an eager look forward

Bernie and Shirley Gershen shown July 22, 2014,

Bernie and Shirley Gershen shown July 22, 2014, moved to this Huntington Station condo in June. Photo Credit: Gwen Young

I can't thank you enough for the My Turn letter from Norm Greenspan headlined, "Nest's not so empty if you move it to a condo" [Act 2, July 19].

That is just what we did on June 16, and we're still unpacking!

It seems we saved similar stuff -- for example, the letters that my then-boyfriend sent when he was in the Army, Valentine's Day cards that we sent each other, drawings that our children and grandson made in their early years. Letters of appreciation when we each retired, notes from friends we've lost during nearly 59 years of marriage, plus so many photos of friends and relatives, slides and movies of trips we took and family events we attended.

How do you find room for all this stuff in a condo with a lot fewer closets than your two-story, four-bedroom Colonial house -- and no garage or basement?

You begin to think you made a mistake in moving. But then you realize a lot of responsibilities have also been lifted from your shoulders -- no snow removal and the possibility of a heart attack, no mowing and a lot less flower planting, no big house parties.

And we can still keep our doctors, friends and activities because we moved close to our old place. I knew other people went through all of this too, but Mr. Greenspan's letter really brought it home and was comforting to me.

I especially enjoyed his statement that "A new phase is about to begin. Looking back is good, but going forward is more life affirming."

And my husband, Bernie, is "life affirming!" So, I expect to look for new adventures in a new place with new people as soon as we can find more space for the books, knickknacks and photos we want to keep.

Shirley Gershen,
Huntington Station

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