Sunday, April 19, 2009

Move #4

Tomorrow Mary Margaret and I move my parents to a new "home", one with hope and promise for stability, good care, and peaceful days. We hope. This move will be the fourth in 2 1/2 years when Mom and Dad left their private residence, their (real) home replete with the possessions of a lifetime, those treasured ''things" and spaces and memories that make a house a home. How could we have anticipated what those 2 1/2 years would bring? None of us had a crystal ball or an ounce of experience as we did the best we could to answer the call for increasing care needs of beloved parents as they entered into their ninth (oops, I mean tenth) decade of life.

This is a bittersweet move, as they all have been. The separate pieces that make the whole of the move are thoughtfully choreographed and in these, we siblings (MM, JT and Kate) are highly experienced. Phase one: Selection and Preparation and Phase two: Moving Day are all about planning, phoning, arranging, organizing, discarding, packing and unpacking. These phases are also about "selling the idea" to the two who will be uprooted yet again for the hope of better care, stability, more calm and ease, all of which they deserve in their final years. Phase three, I call Adjustment and comes with a long and unpredictable tail stretching out for weeks, often months. Settling into new routines, meeting new caregivers, and putting down roots is often the toughest part of the journey. Living through the transition is hardest on the two who move but the effect on the three of us as we do all we can to "make it work" and "work well" is not insignificant. This is the penultimate challenge for the "Committee of 5", a term Dad coined way back when we'd sit around the table as the nuclear family and take on the issues, often thorny and emotional. Each time we move, we hope we've hit upon the ideal, or if not.....the best it can be. Sadly, each time we (eventually) learn that the fit is off, that the needs cannot be met, and we struggle to compromise, advocate, and improve what is, only to come to a place where moving on seems the best option. Again. And, again.

Am I skeptical? Yes. Should I be more trusting in the Universe? Probably. Is it still hard as hell? Absolutely.

I am not in control and can only do the best I can and let the moments play out as they will. I send a prayer that this new place will provide for, assuage and comfort broken hearts.


  1. Does it help at all to know I completely relate to every bit of this. But I am also hoping very much for you and your folks and sibs that this place works out well, and it can be a place they feel settled for a while. My heart goes out to you, I totally understand the sense of not trusting the Universe. It's a reminder that indeed,you should, but sometimes I'd just like to throw a shoe at someone who might tell me that...

  2. I hope this move works out for them. I am missing the reason for the move, but I'm going to go back through your archives. Thank goodness you are all close enough to them so that you can observe whether the place is good or not.

    Our mom is holding steady at her place, fortunately - so far.

  3. I hope the move went well! I know this is a very frustrating and stressful thing to deal with. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know :)

  4. I'm so sorry you had to move them again. Thinking good thoughts and hoping that this will be a move that feels right, and makes sense as to why they are finally there.


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