Life was good. My husband and I had built a successful flower import business. We raised four wonderful children. Life was busy and at times quite stressful – but we were happy! We had a lot of excitement in our lives-sometimes too much. We lived in a great community within the exciting city of Miami. In the evenings when I came home from work and drove through the entrance of our community I saw just in front of me the sun setting on the lake! It was a gorgeous view that lifted any spirit!
Even so we no longer were part of the company – it was a sad day. All the efforts, relationships we built over the years went up in smoke. Of course all this created a very challenging job market for anyone. On top of all that I hit the age of 50 which I now know is in itself a life changing event and I had a very difficult time going through that. I truly felt that the world as I knew it no longer existed and I found it more and more difficult to even cope with daily life. I guess that is what is called depression.
Even so we no longer were part of the company – it was a sad day. All the efforts, relationships we built over the years went up in smoke. Of course all this created a very challenging job market for anyone. On top of all that I hit the age of 50 which I now know is in itself a life changing event and I had a very difficult time going through that. I truly felt that the world as I knew it no longer existed and I found it more and more difficult to even cope with daily life. I guess that is what is called – depression.
We finally had to file for bankruptcy, which brought us relief. But it felt like a plane crash with an excruciatingly slow descent.
As I look back I find it hard to comprehend that we were not able to deal with the whole situation much better. I think we just lost it. We lost our confidence, clarity of mind etc. It seemed like we were awash at sea with no rudder. Just a few years earlier I could not have imagined anything remotely like that.
I don’t know how I survived this difficult period in my life. Lots of tears, hopelessness, defeat.
But I had enough willpower and desire left in me to keep going, to keep trying and leave our children a better memory of our life. Even my faith in God which always provided guidance seemed to have dissipated.
My Husband wanted to come back to his country of Birth – Dominican Republic, but I was not ready to make this change at this point in my life. Until we had no other choice. At the end of December 2015 we left with our beloved dog – a brown labrador – to Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Our dog helped our family a lot. He provided therapy and a lot of comfort.
Our beloved dog Maya with some of our neighborhood kids in Santiago, Dominican Republic
The transition was not difficult at all for me, since I lived in Miami for over 30 years.
So the climate, the culture was not so different. Language barrier – well I found that in the area we lived in – Doral – 95 % of the population speaks Spanish. Very view spoke only English like myself So I was used to communicating with people around me in various ways.
We have lived here in Santiago now for 3 ½ years and have decided that we want to stay here.
I like to live in four story apartment buildings. Living on the fourth floor gives us a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains, on the balcony we can listen to all kinds of birds. We like the sound of children playing outside.
Now I feel I can truly enjoy life. One needs so little in order to be truly happy. Enjoying a cup of coffee and a conversation with my husband or a friend. No rush – Life is great! Now I cannot imagine how difficult my life was just a few years ago. We are comfortable here with the amount of money we receive from social security. In the US we would not even be able to afford our own apartment!
We are able to visit our family in Miami frequently and these visits are always a celebration. Not so long ago it was hard for me to imagine that I could rebuild the relationship with my children.
So the point of this story is, that NO MATTER HOW HOPELESS AND DESPERATE a situation seems, there is always a light at the tunnel. We just have to open ourselves to new ideas, new ways of looking at things, different ways of doing things. I am amazed at myself how I was able to adjust and find a new purpose and fulfillment in my new life.