As a matter of record only I wish to note a few details about the unfolding story of mother’s move to the Colonel By retirement residence. Tomorrow morning we are scheduled to meet with Homefree Organizational Services to review the proposed schedule for moving furnishings into the Colonel By Lodge and for disposing of junk which has accumulated in the basement and garage. This meeting will be important because it sets in motion the mechanics to implement the move to the apartment. The anticipation of this meeting has naturally concerned me as its success is critical to the plan.
I have already dilated at some length upon mother’s daily habit of reversing her posture on this proposal; that is, each time we discuss it, she resists the intent but later comes around to accepting it, only to reverse herself on the following day after she has “been thinking” (as she puts it). Today began as no exception to that routine performance. It must however have been a mark of my unwavering determination to make this happen that I resisted getting into an out-and-out argument with my mother on the topic. Instead I spoke quietly and characterized the move to the retirement residence as the key to the preservation of her independence (independent of me, my sister and my niece to buy her groceries, to arrange her medical appointments, to deal with trades people, etc.). Given that my mother would even have a chauffeur at her disposal, weekly cleaning of her apartment and laundry, white linen dining service and wine being poured for her at the evening meal, not to mention the company of others and the prospect of playing Bridge, the accommodation of this residence is not exactly a deprivation!
Several hours after we had discussed this matter at length and left my mother’s house, and after I had related the latest news on the subject to my sister, I telephoned my mother to ensure that she was fine. To my delight, she began by addressing the issue of the security of her home during her absence! This naturally represents a marked detour from what I have customarily encountered on this once delicate proposition. I have since abbreviated the proceedings to both my sister and my niece, both of whom appreciate the value of what is taking place incrementally. I am now confident that I may discuss the arrangements openly without feeling the necessity to disguise what we are doing, which after all is perfectly normal for anyone approaching her 90th year and who is clearly suffering increasing disabilities. We seem at last to have acknowledged what was once the unspoken truth or the elephant in the room. It is noteworthy too that my niece (who is my mother’s confessed favourite) spoke to my mother in support of the move which I and my sister have been encouraging. I understand from having heard my mother relate this information to me that she was unusually moved by her granddaughter’s influence. Although my mother suggested that I had put my niece “up to it” there was nothing of the kind, not even a conversation between us touching this matter. I also reminded my mother today that her physician (whom my mother subsequently dismissed as “an asshole”) had also recommended the move to Colonel By Lodge. Notwithstanding these lapses into the vernacular and the previous rejection of the propriety of the proposal, it now seems that things are on track as we round the bend.
Post Scriptum – June 8, 2015
Rather than attempt anything resembling a literary narrative, permit me to add that this morning we met with the Judy the “moving lady”. My mother happily bestowed upon Judy the approbation of being a “nice person” which is code for the approval of all she said. We have now scheduled the removal of “junk” a week hence (pointedly following the celebration of my mother’s 89th birthday on June 12th); and then two days later we move the furnishings to the new apartment. Theoretically mother should be prepared to move into the apartment that evening and commence what I hope will be here stay there. I suspect I shall have to enlist the support of my sister to ensure my mother arranges to take the personal things, including whatever clothing would be appropriate for the time of year.
I have already spoken with the real estate agent to provide a progress report. I anticipate listing the property for sale soon after June 18th so that we can get on with it. We will likely have to itemize the household effects and hold an auction of sorts to get rid of what “the family” doesn’t want to keep. All in all it is warming up to be a busy summer!