Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Settled

Moving day for my parents was three days ago. MM and I stopped by the following morning with a bit of trepidation, wondering what their first night in the new home would bring. We breathed a sigh of relief when everything seemed calm and uneventful. Uneventful is a good word. Dad was dressed in a shirt and tie (!) with a vest (a bit small having been put through the wash at the last place and shrunken to half its former size) but he looked great nonetheless. Mom was sleepy-tired and kept drifting off as we tried to carry on a conversation. I brought purple tulips, an African violet, and more Heineken to stock Dad's small refrigerator. All were appreciated. Their rooms looked bright, airy and laid out with familiar furnishings. Good job, MM and Kate! Here's a photo of MM posing behind Dad in "his" chair.

Mom and Dad still have no telephone in their room (some have told me that I'm a fool to put one in there) but I'm working on it nonetheless. Communication these last days has been limited even though Mom has used the house phone a few times for very brief calls. The NY Times is still not being delivered even after two followup phone calls but hopefully by tomorrow they'll get a newspaper. The U.S. mail should have been forwarded to the new address but so far, not even a piece of junk mail has arrived. I'll need to get on that project tomorrow. There's always a long tail on these moves; things that I proactively arrange have to be re-arranged. Always. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to set it all up ahead since it never seems to happen anyway. Grumble grumble.

They also don't have a TV in their room. This was intentional and designed to encourage their integration into the common areas of the house where there's a large TV and plenty of comfortable chairs. Old habits die hard though; Dad asked me tonight if I'd think about hooking up the TV in his room. I'll try to stall on that request for a bit. The set is hidden from view, on the closet shelf behind a closed door. Out of sight, out of mind? Doubtful.

After work today, I made the rush hour trek from work up to their new home for a visit. They were at the dinner table just getting started with their evening meal so I hid out in Mom's room for 20 minutes on my cell phone trying to enlighten the AT&T customer service representative that having the phone line switched "on" and having a working phone are two different concepts. It took him the longest time to understand that we'd need a phone jack in the room in order to plug in that pesky phone. OMG! He promised to have a technician out to the home within a few days to install the phone jack but only if I assured him that: (1) there would be someone at home and (2) that the someone would be over 18 years of age. By the time we were finished, he was thoroughly educated about the concept of an adult family home and the fact that there are people there 24/7, many who are over the age of 80!. That shut him up briefly but then he started in on a sales pitch for other products and services. Begging for a phone jack and a goodbye, we ended the call. We'll see what happens.

I know this is a good place; I can breath in the confidence and the professionalism of this home. My parents are in a safe place where the care is consistent and loving. The four cats who roam about, inside and out are a bonus. One, named Panda, took his place on Mom's bed tonight. She was tolerant of his choice and he, of course, acted like he belonged. Why not?

We move forward as best we can.


  1. Oh this is GREAT GREAT news. Even with all the annoying Phone guy stuff and how hard it is to put off the TV request, it's just has to be such a relief. I am reliving the exact same things I did just 5 or so short years ago --we kept mom at home and had to put dad in Assisted living places as they could not betogether since they had different stages of dimentia. But we eventually brought dad home once he couldn't hurt her or himself anymore. He was just too strong and too big of a grouch. Your Dad and Mom both do look great. I am thrilled for this new chapter. I know, it's not the end of all you write about here, but this is really good. yay

  2. PS: Oh, the cat part is icing on the cake!

  3. The best news Kate! The home looks lovely and cats always make a house a home.

  4. I am glad the transitioning into the new home was a success. Good job for getting everything done! :)

  5. We DID it, but of course, it's not over yet. Never is. Hope the NYT gets there soon. That could be such a simple thing - you would think. AT&T is simply nuts. Know nothing, ever. So glad Mom and Dad are in this place.

  6. This is good news. Your dad looks pleased. May the settling-in process be smooth for all of you.


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