Sunday, November 29, 2009

Buckle your seat belt

"Here we go," we heard on the phone today. "Hold on for dear life," I answered.  I got two phone calls this afternoon from Grampie and Thyrza's community health care workers.  Apparently things have grown increasingly difficult for these parents of ours. After talking with this Wendy about safety issues and fire hazards, I gathered the boys (Beve and his Finnish brother) and we called Thyrza's daughter, who completely concurs with our decisions: to travel back to Sequim tomorrow to put what Beve calls a band-aid on their living situation.  Last week we tried to de-clutter their office, but though they'd been thrilled about the option in theory, once we started messing with their things, they weren't very happy about it.  But Thyrza's declining daily, and Grampie's memory is on the downslope as well.  Yesterday he was so amenable to everything Beve suggested, he was ready to get in the car and come home with Beve then and there. But just a day later, he's jutting his jaw, throwing up his animated hands in disgust at the idea that his kids were telling him what to do.

The time has come, however. It comes in every life, if you live long enough.  The children whose diapers you changed will be the ones to change yours. The ones who were taught to obey your word, respect and trust your decisions are the ones who will take away your rights--to live alone, drive, pay your own bills, and a myriad other things we take for granted in the middle of your life.  It came for my mother.  We sat her down and told (not asked) her what our plan was for her life.  She cried a little, tried to argue (she was a great one for arguing), but in the end, agreed to all our decisions.  What choice did she have, after all?  A few weeks later, she didn't really remember some of those decisions, but, just like small children, she didn't have a choice.

And that day has come for Grampie and Thyrza as well, though they don't know it yet. They will tomorrow when we sit them down and tell them some hard facts.  When we spend the day de-cluttering their apartment so they can actually get their walkers around better. When we get Thyrza's daughter on the phone and have a conference call about moving them up here to our neck of the northwest.  It's too far to go running out there every week, or more often as things progress.  And they will progress.

The decision we've all agreed on without the parents knowing is that Grampie and Thyrza will move here.  And by here I mean to our house.  At least until we find a good assisted living place for them (or one of them as the case may be).  We have to do some fast rearranging around here to accomodate the elderly, or I should say, Beve and E will have to do the rearranging. My job is to do the directing. E's offered to find someplace else to live for a few months, though I hate to think of her doing so. I mean, I'm looking forward to her competent, steady, strong help.  I don't think Grampie and Thyrza will be in our home for that long, though. Either God will help us find a home here in Bellingham or...He just take them home.

In any case, a new season is upon us.  Buckle our seatbelts, hold onto our hats, here we go.

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