It’s Sunday. I have to check the calendar these days to know what day it is – they all run together. I’m in eastern KY and in the final stages of helping my dad and stepmom move from their home of 25-ish years into an assisted living facility. It’s been quite an experience. Some events that stand out in my mind include:
- Driving a giant U-Haul truck through a tiny alley, maneuvering it in and out of dad’s neighborhood. I got a weird thrill driving the big truck without mishap.
- Watching three large and strong young guys (hired movers) carrying furniture effortlessly, the way I used to. It was a harsh reminder of how I’ve aged in the last 35 years (doh!).
- The weight, emotional and literal, of layers and layers of things two people have accumulated over the years. Wading through it has been pretty awful, frankly. It gives one a real perspective on the futility of acquisition. Note to self – experience, don’t acquire.
- How beautiful the KY hills and valleys can be in the winter, as seen in the title picture above, taken some 18 years ago in eastern KY. The industrialized areas of eastern KY are pretty rough-looking. The unspoiled wooded areas, what few are left, are magnificent.
- The fun of working through all this with my three brothers. We don’t spend a lot of time together these days, so this shared set of tasks has had a silver lining. We get to catch up and spend time together as we shut down an old, cluttered domicile and start up a new one for the parents.
When I leave here in a few days for the Left Coast, I’ll have the peace of knowing we did everything possible to make our parents’ transition from independent living to the next stage as easy and healthful as possible. Many families aren’t so lucky, though it’s clear to me that this kind of outcome is part luck, part hard work and lots of goodwill across siblings and generations.