Sitting in her favorite reclining chair and looking out the window of her apartment, Marian reflected on over 40 years of living, working, and raising a family in “The City that Never Sleeps.” She migrated to New York City from North Carolina in her mid-twenties, and would spend the next four decades enjoying the parks, playgrounds, museums, and performing arts that have long characterized “The City.” She acclimated to the “hustle and bustle,” the diversity of peoples, language, and customs, and she came to appreciate the access provided by the public transportation system —despite the deafening noise of the train that passed by her apartment about every 20 minutes well into the night. The drive and pace of the city demanded that she keep up in order to survive, and until age 65, she was able to hold her own in the community she had come to love.
Three days before her retirement, Marian woke up to her alarm as she had done every morning for the last 25 years to get ready for work. This week marked the countdown to the next phase of her life —the phase of “retiree,” time to be more than a part-time grandmother, and the flexibility to travel and spend quality time with friends.
Marian sat up, swung her legs toward the floor, and when she went to stand up, she fell to the floor.
Not able to pull herself up, she called her daughter who lived “down the hill” and asked her to come up and help her. When her daughter arrived, she called an ambulance. Marian had suffered a stroke. She survived, but never returned to work. She received her retirement certificate and gifts in the mail. After several months of physical and occupational therapy, Marian was able to pack up her apartment and move back to the south.
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