Entering the Cave

S M Chen
6 min readMar 4

Had I not attended a recent Zoom meeting I would have not heard it. On the other hand, had I not attended, perhaps it wouldn’t have been uttered.

Our sibship, six strong, meets weekly via the Zoom platform.

With good fortune, my sibs are all alive and reasonably well. Our dear parents have departed, but we live on.

I am grateful to Zoom, for it allows us to congregate as if we are all in one large room, rather than being (in reality) scattered throughout the country. We see and hear each other in real time.

Actually, it is uncommon that all six attend. Something else (a meeting, a late luncheon, get together with offspring, the like) often impinges. But those that can do get together, and those get-togethers are often fruitful and heartwarming.

Sometimes others join us. Members of the next generation, or friends and acquaintances. All are figuratively welcome to eat at our table.

On thorny issues there is sometimes lack of uniformity. This is probably to be expected.

My three eldest siblings are all single. Their spouses have passed to another place from which there is no retrieval. Two of them had dementia. In fact, at different times they occupied the same care facility.

Sadly, there was nothing to be done for them. They gradually became shadows of their former selves and finally they themselves slipped into the shadows, out of view.

Out of sight but not out of mind.

We still miss them.

Love is no respecter of age.

So I posed a question, not designed to offend or affront, mainly of my three eldest siblings (the two younger ones being married).

Are they content being single?

Do they harbor maybe the slightest hope that someday they might find another mate, another partner?

Someone to share life with?

I love them but don’t pretend I can get inside their heads. Only they can do that.

Two affirmed they were fine, and, by inference, intended to stay that way.

Statistically, those who couple tend to live about a decade longer than those who remain single, but there are always exceptions to the rule.

The third, who lives in a senior facility where the women outnumber the men (by what factor I’m uncertain)…