I retired in South Florida (a refugee from the grimy Northeast) over fifteen years ago, and I have to say I love it. We (my wife and I) have never been happier, and I would never go back. We fell in love with the coastal weather and the health-focused lifestyle and moved to Boca Raton. We did not, however, count on the sun.
Our son became unemployed during the stock market crash of 2002 and ended up living on our couch. He was always a hard-working, motivated individual, and we naturally assumed he would find employment and move out quickly. This, however, was not the case.
We were newly retired (less than a year) and were thoroughly enjoying our new-found freedom and independence when our thirty-year-old son moved in. He stayed. It seems that he fell in love with south Florida as well, so let’s just say he spent a lot of time in the sun. After three years putting up with him living on the beach during the day and spending the night galavanting around Miami, we kicked him out. He quickly acquired a wife, children, a new career, and a nice home in an upper middle class neighborhood in Delray Beach. He had, without our knowing at the time, also acquired skin cancer.
He spent days soaking up the sun. He was never uncouth or untoward, he had his health without question, and yet it happened. Sometime in 2012, a section of skin on his forehead became discolored and started to itch—skin cancer. He was forty years young and had responsibilities: a new family, a mortgage, a career. There was also no way he was ever moving in again, and so we moved quickly. My wife had been going to a great dermatologist in Boca Raton for a decade for aesthetic treatments, so we quickly volunteered to foot the bill. He didn’t need our assistance, and we’re proud of him for that, but we didn’t want an entire family living out of our guest room, either.
He went to the doctor; his health was obviously at stake. After a few months of ED/C treatment the danger was over, and while he continually has to receive care every few months to maintain his overall well-being (new tumors continually appear), the skin cancer has not had a significant impact on his life.
We’re proud of him. Not only did he manage to beat cancer, but he didn’t skip a beat. He still has an excellent consulting firm and is at the top of his career. He has, much to our surprise, given us wonderful grandchildren when we had all but given up hope of more descendants. He married a doctor and gave us grandkids whom we love more than anyone in the world. We believe he has, through his gifts, extended our lives for a number of years and improved our health as well. I am glad, however, that we did not outlive him.