Families move in all kinds of ways. Sometimes they come together and sometimes they drift apart. My family is beginning a move. And it’s a change that will take all our patience with each other as we make the transition. It is time for our mom to relocate closer to her children.
In the close-knit Amish community caring for elders does not require any major moves. The elders are a part of the group and have been all along. But in the English world children often move far away from the family home. My family is lucky we three siblings all live within an hour and half of each other. However our mom lives 3,000 miles away.
Mom is turning 87 this summer, a number she is proud of, thank you very much. But she realizes she’s slowing down and it’s time to downsize and be closer to her children. Mom’s known this day would come. We all decided four years ago to put her name on a waiting list for a lovely independent living facility here on the East Coast. And now her name is finally on the top of the list. After four years of thinking it’s “suddenly” time to take action. By the end of this summer Mom will be living just 20 minutes from my sister and an hour from my brother and me. And between now and then there is a lot to do.
Paperwork abounds. My sister seems to understand it and can navigate all the details with patience. Travel schedules. We need to figure out who will be free when to take time off to help Mom sort, sell, and pack. Not to mention organize a moving company. Finances. We will have to figure out what all this will cost and how we can help Mom pay for it. And all this will have to be handled with patience. We will have to be sensitive in so many ways.
We want to honor our mother. Nostalgia, anger, exhaustion, joy, sadness. There are so many ways for my family to move. We can move together through this with grace or we can move apart. I am choosing grace, and that choice means taking it all to God in prayer, now.
Have you gone through relocating a parent? What advice do you have for me?
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