I flew back to Missouri last week, Friday. Got in late (almost midnight) and spent the night with Bob's cousin, Judy. She's a 15-minute drive from the StL airport and is a night owl, so she didn't mind. Saturday morning I drove to Union and helped complete the packing up for Mom's move to her new apartment at The Homestead at Hickory View in Washington, MO.
It tugs at the heart to go through something like this, and, my sister, Carmen, shed a few tears during the process.
I think most of the family understand the need for this move, but there may be one or two who are unhappy because they think we forced Mom to do this. We certainly encouraged it, but, ultimately, it was her decision. I believe that my Mom will actually improve, physically and mentally, from this move, and perhaps those who are unhappy with this change will, eventually, see the benefit.
We moved her into her new apartment on Monday, July 1, and it went pretty quickly. Jim hired a couple of guys to move everything and that helped a lot. (We're all getting too old for much heavy lifting.) Mom's apartment includes a living room, bedroom, bath and kitchenette. And, she's within easy distance of all the essentials the home offers — the dining room, laundry, hair salon, etc. [ And, It turns out that the view outside the windows in Mom's apartment includes the back of the local LDS church building. If she was a member, it'd be really convenient to go to Church. :-) ]
They gave Mom a list of all the other residents and she seemed pleased to learn that she already knows several people there. It was dinner time when we left her, so, she made her way to the dining hall and we said our good-byes. Carmen, Jim and I dropped off extra items at Mom's house and went for dinner at Haegie's in Union.
It was sad to go back to Mom's home and see it nearly half-empty. Our family moved into that house when I was in the fourth grade. Yet, seeing it like that reinforced for me how once the people and their things are gone — it's just an empty house.
Jim had the locks changed this week and put on deadbolts to help secure the house while it's unoccupied. We also have lamps on timers in a couple of rooms so it's not so obvious that it's empty. I suspect that in a few months we'll need to clear it out and sell it so we can use the proceeds to help defray some of the cost of Mom's care. In some ways, I think it will be better to do that while Mom's still living. It may make people a little less emotional about dividing up things.
I flew home Tuesday afternoon, July 2. Since I landed at Reagan airport, I was able to take the Metro from the airport to the West Falls Church station, then catch the express bus to Ashburn. (So much easier than having to drive that route.) The next day, Bob and I drove to Chesapeake Beach, Maryland to spend Wednesday and Thursday with a couple we know there. It turned out to be a nice mini-vacation! Bonnie and Rey Misajon live right on the beach with beautiful views all around. The community of Chesapeake Beach does their fireworks over Chesapeake Bay on July 3rd each year and we enjoyed sitting on the beach and watching them. It was a very pleasant and relaxing couple of days. (Now, back to reality. . . We move in three weeks!)