We moved my parents here to our city in 2015. It was hard for all of us, and especially my dad, to leave the sweet familiar little town that has been their home and our heart-home for so many years. But with both of them in their 80’s, Dad on home kidney dialysis, heart issues and health problems looming, the nearest hospital 60 miles away, and the prospect of driving/living through another Northern winter—-it was time to come up with a solution. While all five of us siblings playfully argued over wanting Mom and Dad close to each of us in our scattered locations, all finally agreed that our location here in Colorado was the best answer. The thing that really got everything moving on this decision was Don’s life-math: “if your parents live to be 90, and you see them once a year, you will only see them 5 more times in your life.” That hit me hard.
So, the whole family came together for several weeks that August. We poured through memories, pared down, auctioned off, sold the house, packed essentials/heirlooms/Steinway upright piano (900 lbs.) into the largest UHaul available and caravanned to Colorado.
Such a major feat for a single sentence! The two day trip was not without adventure, as my little car was acting up, and the uhaul truck that Don drove lost the transmission 40 miles outside our destination. Thank goodness for Dons driving skills as he limped the truck into town!
We had discovered a very nice Independent living complex about 10 minutes from our house, where Mom and Dad stayed in a pretty apartment for about a year. Because of our excellent health services here, Dad is no longer on dialysis, had a new valve put into his heart, got some great hearing aids, and probably added 10 years to his life. Suddenly everyone at the independent living complex was “too old” for them.
So we found a larger, less expensive regular apartment complex close by, and they moved (a week before Trevor and Casey’s wedding in our yard….aaauuuuuggghhh!) into that space. The apartment is beautiful—as always, with Moms creative touches and walls of art. The third bedroom is a sunny art studio, and Mom is “in heaven”. Dad is coming around, and although he still mourns being gone from “my favorite town”, he appreciates seeing all of us so often, and knowing Mom is so happy.
Last summer one of my sisters, Pam, and her family moved here—and for the time being, also moved into a place in Mom and Dads same apartment complex! Pam’s husband is retired, and spends his time golfing or skiing. One of my nieces is going to university in a city 45 minutes away, and the other niece—still in high school, is on our high school theatre costume crew!
Of course we are working on the rest of our family members to move here now too, as Colorado has become the new family place to converge! We are ridiculously happy for at least some of us to be together in the same town—and we still marvel and beam at each other “You/we LIVE here!” when we see each other. The life-math now is SO much better…as we now have countless precious moments to head out for lunches, concerts, and galleries. Even Target runs and the grocery store are fun together. Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays……we are back to having big family gatherings and it’s sooooo wonderful!