Friday, February 10, 2012

The journey home (?)

I should clarify that some of the choices that I have made, that WE have made as a family are not for everyone. I don't judge other people, and I hope that you won't judge me (any more harshly than I judge myself anyway).  Most of us will have to  make decisions regarding our aging parents at some point in time. Those decisions will be complex, sometimes painful, possibly inconvenient and always emotionally charged.

We chose to move in with my Dad after my Mother passed away. Logistically- it wasn't easy. We lived in the city, 6 hours away from the small town that my parents  chose to retire in. While the town is  picturesque, I never would have chosen to live here. Ever. Two years after the move, I still feel like a fish out of water. I am a liberal vegan woman who does not belong to a church (heathen), living in the midst of 30,000 conservative Christian hunters. As I said-I don't judge, but I also don't fit in. So be it. 

I moved almost immediately to help Dad deal with the business of dying-contacting people, arranging services, dealing with Mom's belongings, etc. Back in the city, my husband  took care of getting the boys to school, and my daughter (who was then 17) took care of them in the afternoons. She sacrificed much of her Senior year of high school to make the move possible. I do wish that I could give that back to her.  

We saw each other most weekends, and the boys moved down in April of that year-four months after I did. The only bedroom big enough to accommodate them both had been Grandma's room, so it required some changes. Everything had to go in fact, so that they could start their new lives with hope, not living in the shadow of their dead Grandmother. I spent time painting their room with colors that they chose on one of their weekend visits. We put in new carpet also, to ensure the room was completely  made over.

 They moved in with me and their Grandpa (Papa)  during Spring break. From their first day here-their lives were better in so many ways. Their school is now within walking distance, which eliminates the 20 minute drive to class that we were all used to in the city. Their friends are also within walking distance- in fact, several kids live on the same block-which makes the "play date" system of scheduling an afternoon with a classmate two weeks prior to the actual get together obsolete.

It took 18 months to sell our house in the city, even though it was one of few homes with a forest and water view.  I loved that house. We enjoyed many days hiking with the kids in the canyon below our backyard. It was the last place that we were all together as a family before my daughter went away to college.  I will miss that life for a very long time.

To say it was a difficult time is an understatement. As I look back on it- I am still overwhelmed. Some days I can't help but mourn that life has required me to give up so much. Other days, I can't help but focus on how much I will have to give up in the near future. Focusing on the here and now is hard, and is not only part of my journey- I believe therein lies my  happiness. 

No comments:

Post a Comment