My mom is 92 and has had her good times and her bad times since a stroke about five years ago. She’s been in an independent living place in Lenox, Massachusetts but her kids, all seven of us, have been aware for quite a while that she need more care just to be safe. Unfortunately, mom thought she was just fine and had no intention of moving.
So today, when she moved to Sugar Hill in Dalton (assisted living) without complaint, we all heaved a huge sigh of relief. And we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this place lives up to its billing…seems warm and welcoming, respectful of seniors and has great food. It’s been hard watching her slip down hill but the ones bearing the brunt of it all have been my Massachusetts sisters, Karen and Paula, who have had to drop everything and run every time there were problems. So, while I’ve been worried and had mom on my mind a lot, I’ve gotten off real easy on this whole “aging parent” problem. I sit, nice and comfortable in sunny Florida and let them take care of everything….come cruising in to visit every few months (although this time I haven’t been there since last fall) and hope for the best. And I count my blessings that I have so many sisters. Karen and Paula are there all the time and Kim, who lives at the other end of the state, comes whenever she’s needed. It’s really hard not to feel guilty for being so removed from it all. And it amazes me that my sisters aren’t mad at me for not helping more. And just like I know I never would have been the caretaker that Jerry was when I was sick, I’m not the daughter my sisters are.
Not an easy time for mom…or for us. Say a prayer that she adjusts well to her new home. I just finished reading Roz Chast’s (New Yorker magazine) new book Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Perfect book for anyone with aging parents. I suppose it’s perfect for all of us who will BE aging parents in the not too distant future. (all of us?) Frankly I’d love another option besides dying young (or at least not REALLY old) and hanging in there long after you stop having fun. Lucky dad…he’s 92 and still having fun (but not happy with the Red Sox this year)
Enough serious, sad stuff. The Littles are coming next week. Can’t wait. Our quiet, slow-moving life will pick up speed and noise for a few weeks. Beach, pool, camp for the girls at Mote Marine, maybe some kayaking…They are SO easy to entertain. And maybe the girls will go to yoga with me. Calli says she’s coming…She’s been practicing “airplane”. And they want to go on turtle patrol although it’s going to be rough getting them out of bed at 6:00 (which is 5:00 Texas time) I have my doubts that they’ll actually come. We’ll see.