The past week or so has been a tad surreal what with choosing a place for Mom to live, moving her furniture and meager belongings, and setting up her space. I’d post pictures here, but I want her to be the first to see it before anyone, you know? If she okays some pictures, I’ll take them after she’s settled and let you see what’s what. Tomorrow’s the big day.
It was somewhat emotionally unsettling to take this step. (Yeah, I realize I sound a bit like Mr. Spock, but it’s a way to deal, you know?) During the move (two trips with a neighbor’s loaned pickup truck — Thank you, Liam! — and one with my car packed to the gills) I kept my head down, eyes focused a few inches in front of my feet. The mantra of the day was “Get through it, get through it,” but as her rooms began to come together, I felt the band across my chest loosen, allowing me to draw a deep breath.
Price-tag aside (and it’s a hefty one, believe me; this is, after all, Connecticut), it’s a nice place. Lovely building, friendly staff and residents. Because there are no openings (yet) in the Memory Care Unit, Mom will reside in an assisted living apartment that has a full bath, nice sized bedroom and living area, and a tiny kitchenette with a small refrigerator, a microwave, and an electric kettle (with an auto off switch) so she can make tea whenever she wants it. She’ll spend her days in the Memory Care Unit, becoming familiar with the layout and participating in their events. By night, she’ll have an aide from 7 pm to 7 am to make sure she doesn’t wake confused or take it into her head to wander.
I’m convinced now that this is the right road to take (on a journey where, frankly, no road feels entirely correct), but it’s hard to let go. She’s been with us for nearly two years. Although I’ll continue to take her to doctor appointments and the hair dresser, her day-to-day activities will fall under someone else’s control. It feels good, feels right…
And feels scary. I want her safe. I know she will be, and yet… You know what I mean, I think; that doubtful little voice. Doesn’t help that we toured an Alzheimer’s unit recently. What an immeasurably sad (and somewhat horrifying) experience to see all these people who were once active and vibrant reduced to shells of their former selves, belted into wheelchairs, staring into the void, drugged for all I know to keep them complacent (some places do such things, let’s not be naive). Horrifying. It’s not the life I want for my mom, not the end I would choose for her. I hope the Universe is listening, whether it be a God or Goddess or pantheon of powerful entities. Don’t let that be her end. Don’t.