Doris Wheeler

I often hear the phrase “independent living.” Matter of fact, the apartment complex I live in is considered for people who fall into that category. I now have come to the conclusion there is no such thing as “independent living.” 

We depend on each other from the time we are born. Maybe there is a small part of our lives when we think we are independent but we are not. We are dependent on each other from the time we enter this world – our parents and close family first, then our schooling and the people who deliver that education. When we finally consider ourselves grown, we seek a permanent companion who may or may not meet our desire to be somewhat independent. Or we seek to be independent in thought, finances and living conditions. 

I often looked for a job that would support me and meet the criteria I had set for myself, only to be terribly disappointed, as none did what I hoped to see accomplished. Included in those ideals were marriages and relationships. They always started out very close to my expectations but, sooner or later, faded away and I found myself supporting the person I had thought to be my supporter.

So, I find myself now reaching the end of my search for that independence, analyzing my accomplishments and realizing that I had very little – if any – influence

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on my independence and my welfare. All of that depended on the support that was given to me. The more support I had, the better my accomplishments – and the lesser the support, the smaller the results. 

I also realize the more support I have had – from fellow human beings (and an occasional animal) – the closer I have come to my goal of independence. It strengthens one’s reality to believe “no man is and island.” And, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we can see that “one nation indivisible” accomplishes freedom and peace much easier than wars for independence. 

So, I am happily dependent on every person I meet and support. In the long run, that principal makes us stronger and more likeable and, certainly, more successful. 

Happy Fourth of July. No matter where you were born and raised, it is our deep friendships that ultimately make us successful.


Doris Wheeler is 88 years young. She moved to the United States from Germany in 1954 and retired to Waxahachie from TXI in 2000. She lives with her dog, Mini Cooper, in the Country Lane Senior Apartments, and is a member of Write Way, the creative writing group at Waxahachie Senior Center.

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