Last weekend with the family, every time something exciting happened, my younger daughter exclaimed what I was sure was, "Paula!" Finally I asked her what in the world she was actually saying, and she told me, "Holla!" As in, "Shout!" Still, I couldn't resist saying, "Abdul!" each time I heard her say, "Holla" after that. So this is my "Holla! Abdul!" post.
In the last month:
We got Grampie moved to the nursing home where his dementia can be managed with care, kindness and dignity. Holla!
With the help of Thyrza's daughter, we helped Thyrza see that moving to Maryland was in her best interest--for her health, her daughter's peace of mind and even Grampie's (when he was lucid enough to remember). Holla!
With the girls' help, we packed up Thyrza's things in time for the movers to take them. Holla!
We saw the elders through their last days together, cried many tears and enjoyed the last moments too. Holla!
Beve flew Thyrza across the country, safely handled her off to her waiting family, stayed with them long enough to find a bread machine (at a Thrift store, of course) teach Thyrza's granddaughter and small (very helpful!) great-grandsons how to make cinnamon rolls and luscious bread, then flew back home in time for our weekend at Whidbey. Holla!
And today we finally finished moving the final boxes and ubiquitous plastic bins (how on earth could anyone have so many of so many sizes as they did in such a small space?), discarded trash, refrigerator goods, and closed the door, just in the nick of time to turn in the keys to make our 'move-out' date. A shout out to BB for his help this week. How timely his 'vacation,' though not exactly what he expected. But it's done. HOLLA!
It's been a long month. By my count, this is the 9th time I've helped sort through and move the belongings for an aging parent in the last 15 years. It's always grueling, but I get a little more ruthless each time. What mattered to them will not always matter to those who come after. This time was particularly difficult and we're pretty sure a few boxes that should have stayed here were sent on the moving van (including the six generation history of pictures J and I put together the summer J was in 8th grade--full of photographs back to the mid 1800s), and I know two that should have gone were left. Sigh. Still, for the most part, we can now concentrate on life. Grampie's life and ours.