No, We’re Not Moving

May 24th, 2010 | By Jeannine Becker | Category: For Senior Women

Reality walked out the back door with Dad and his wife, our second mom, when any discussion about a move to their ’home state’ was on their plate.  It seemed for this 94 year old demented  father of ours and his 82 year old wife, that they would be able to handle the severe cold weather, the feet and feet of snow, the layers of ice, the fact that none of their family would be within at least 3 hours drive and the physical business of moving their household  half way across the country.  But then someone said to them, ”In order to drive when you get there, you both will have to take the written drivers test, and possibly even the driving test itself.”  Those seemed to be the magic words that brought reality back through the front door.

To one of my sisters, our mother said, “I know that neither of us would be able to pass the written drivers test.”   Well in all reality, neither of them has any business driving anymore anyway.  And that is going to be my next subject to consider.

How nice it is and what a difference it has made in at least part of the stress level in their lives and ours to have this ‘move back home’ buried, at least for the moment.   Mom is actually making the decisions and trying really hard to get dad to willingly agree with them.  Dad is agreeing, though not necessarily gracefully, to not making a physical move back to his home state.  He gets this very stoic and unhappy glare on his face and seems to be putting the ‘blame’ for his inability to make the move on his daughters.  Which is probably a good thing, since we don’t want him angry with mom about it.

So two days ago I offered to go back ‘home’ with them this summer; to help them get settled in a motel suite and let them enjoy the experience of being ‘home’ for as long as they wanted to be there.  They accepted gladly but let me know that they wanted to drive not fly.  My husband and I are leaving with them, driving their car and will ‘take them home’.

I found dad’s two comments about this trip most interesting.  His first one was that they might want to “just stay there a long time”.  A few minutes later when he’d forgotten what he had just said, he offered that he “might be ready to return ‘home’ within just a few days”!!

Mother has set July 5th for our departure date and July 26 for the return trip date.  If the mosquitoes are bad enough, the flies in their glory, the humidity high enough to cause a physical meltdown and the heat really up there, I can’t imagine their lasting two weeks!  My hospice sister tells me that he will quickly forget all the reasonable reasons they had for returning to their hot, but dry southwest home and he will probable return to wanting to ‘go home to die’.

Dad really has two ‘hometowns’.   The one they are physically living in and have been in for nearly 25 years and the one in his memory, the part of his memory that continues to work.  I think that his reality actually is that he prefers living here, but at the moment of his death, he wants to be there to die.



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