Downsizing made simple

image
Print Friendly

Christine and Ron Carter were the first residents of Wadswick Green, moving in at the end of May, and were immediately impressed by the support on offer. ‘We were offered help with the unpacking but we’d downsized so successfully there was hardly anything to unpack,’ says Christine, 70. ‘They made us feel very welcome with flowers and champagne.

‘Although there were only two of us here, there were still two carers on duty 24 hours a day. They took us in a minibus to register with the GP and escorted Ron to his hospital appointment.’

They had both been widowed when they married in 1991. ‘He’d started going to my church and apparently looked across the pews to me and thought: “That lady’s single and she’s for you” although how he knew I was single I don’t know. A mutual acquaintance said he’d fallen madly in love with me. I thought the age gap was too wide as he’s 15 years older but he pursued me.  I think the local florist must have been upset when we married a couple of years on.

‘It was his kind, compassionate nature which won me over. And he doesn’t seem to see any faults in me though I have plenty.’

Christine had been widowed at only 39, when her first husband, financial controller Hugh, died of a heart attack aged 40. ‘We’d just been to a company do where he’d won an award so luckily my mother was staying over to babysit our boys, Michael and Stephen, then aged 14 and 12. Hugh had been fit and sporty but his job was highly pressurised. As he was getting off to sleep he began writhing around. The GP and our vicar – who I worked for part time – came straight round. Michael, who was his father’s shadow, woke up and said: “Please don’t let my Daddy die.”

‘It was hard helping my sons through it but we had the support of the church community. I trained as a bereavement counsellor and so out of tragedy came something healing and positive.’

Christine wasn’t interested in a new relationship at that point. ‘I felt I had to give the boys all my attention for five years. They’re now wonderful friends but they had become very competitive and sometimes I thought they would fight to the death. I’d come home and look to see if all the windows were still intact.’

Ron also has two sons, Nicholas and Michael, along with five grandchildren, from his first marriage. ‘His wife had been ill for ten years before dying of cancer so it was awful for Ron when, just after my 50th birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and treated at the same hospital as Ron’s first wife. He hid his anxiety from me and if I was feeling down, he’d say: “Dry your tears. We’re going out for lunch.”

Ron, now 85, retired from the Home Office 20 years ago, and since then they have split their time between voluntary work for their church and travel. ‘Ron’s ideal was that we should go somewhere every six weeks, whether for a weekend or longer. We love France and Italy and also the luxury and gentle way of life of European river cruises.’ 

Their move to Wadswick Green means they will be nearer Christine’s son Michael. ‘Ron has had heart problems in recent years. It made us realise that if one of us was immobile we could become isolated but here there is a community with facilities on tap. 

‘I used to love gardening but never sat in my garden as I was too busy working in it. Now if I want to get dirt under my fingernails I can go to my son’s. The team here have booked a theatre trip for us, they’re talking of watercolour lessons which I used to do, so there’s always something going on. It’s turning out to be great fun.’

wadswickgreen.co.uk

The following two tabs change content below.
Hello ... I am the Creative Director and Website Editor for Silversurfers and manage all the social media too. I hope you find the features and articles we have shared with you of interest and relevance. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us ... I hope you enjoy Silversurfers and all that we offer ...

Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Life Stories

Life really can begin at fifty rsz_croft_1
John McCullagh lives by the philosophy that life really does begin at fifty – and he lives it in...
Why not write a book? minimalistic illustration of a search bar with self-publishing keyword and associations, eps10 vector
Work, work, work, a phase of life where taking a day off was an absolute bonus. Retire from the...
The Cowboy wore glasses - Part One Western country music poster with cowboy clothes and music guitar background for text
PROLOGUE This is the story of the life and adventures of Andrew Edward Silver. If you so...
My life in the WRNS Miss Fly Navy
I joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service almost by accident, when a local paper published a...
Retirement - how did I have time to work? Compass with needle pointing the word retirement concept image to illustrate retirement planning
Not so epic as some but: I retired early and thought I might like to 'take up painting' brave for...
The true story of a singlehanded survival in the Atlantic photo (6)
My mother asked me to look after my brother as she lay dying of Cancer in hospital. He had...
The Ten Pound Pom comes home TEN POUND POM
A touching story of a father and son reunited after a lifetime apart lies behind the decision of...
Home from home with my pets Sheila Jennings
Long before the Duchess of Cambridge wowed the world with her McQueen wedding dress, Sheila...
It's time for some luxury living Mike Anderson 2
Michael Anderson’s earliest memory stretches a long way back. ‘I can recall my nanny...
It's all about a positive mental attitude Marilyn McGee
Marilyn McGee has been widowed twice but counts her blessings. ‘I’ve been so lucky to have had...
The Pantry A basket of freshly harvested Organic Potatoes with soil on them
When I retired, I decided not to roll out the normal speech of thanks and what a good firm it has...
The sad demise of my old home/Plantation Inn in the Caribbean photo (4)
I spent an idyllic childhood brought up on a beautiful sugar estate on the edge of Mount Pleasant...