Saturday, November 12, 2005
The couple in the center of the photo are Roland and Betty Norris, of Arcadia, California. This picture was taken in 1971 at a Petroleum Club Octoberfest (note: Dad with Stein and Mom with, well, cocktail glass, I think). I, the only child, got to stay home, eat Swanson's TV Dinners - 3rd video down on the left., and watch TV. Dad is 51 years old in this picture, and Mom is 50 (shhhhh....she never revealed her age, and still won't).
Today, Mom and Dad moved here. Just several miles from our home. I have written briefly about my thoughts on all this here. Mom and Dad have a cute two bedroom unit in a very caring and warm environment where they will be very well looked after. I will get complete monthly reports on their health and well being, and I will be able to stop by at least weekly to have a meal with them and see how things are going. Have I warehoused my parents? I don't know. But I do know that their living in this setting is far more communal, stimulating, nourishing, and beneficial. Besides, if they moved in with us (which they would never do in 7 zillion years), I am quite sure that my Mom would be gone in about a month, purely from the volume level in our home being such a complete shock to her system. She is about 5 feet tall and weights about 90 pounds these days.
This whole process has been one of gradual grace and, in my mind, the intervention of Heaven. Had you told me even six months ago that my father would have willing walked into an assisted living facility, I would have scoffed. One of his most famous quotes to us all used to be, "They are going to carry me out of this house (the one he lived in for 40 years) feet first!" How is that for defiant? But a couple of small strokes, and a life of general forgetfulness and confusion has lead him, by God's grace, to a much better place. I am thankful.
Well, we did not carry him out, we gently placed he and Mom in my Accura, and drove the 3 miles to the assisted living facility. All of the mementos of his life surround him in his room, and this will be their new home.
This was a bittersweet day. Forty years in one home, leaving memories behind. Moving on to a place of hope and cheer. We are all constantly leaving behind what feels comfortable, moving on, and trying to see our way around the next bend in the road.
Posted by Steve at 9:18 PM