Dad’s Big Move
I told you about our adventures with my father-in-law recently and his impending move. Well yesterday was the big day.
We had it planned perfectly, we thought. The movers would come at 11am when dad would go to the senior center with his friend Harry for the day and we could get it done without him getting in the way.
Dad can barely distinguish a hammer from a screw-driver but he always wants to ‘help’. We knew the best way to get through this was with him elsewhere.
We were having coffee and gearing up for the day ahead when the movers arrived two hours early. I have to mention here that Dave has worked his ass off for over a week helping dad sort and pack. He needed those two hours but soldiered on.
It’s hard enough packing your own stuff but add a sometimes belligerent old man arguing over every single thing he’s hoarded, er, saved for 93 years and the importance of taking it along… well you get the picture.
It’s what we call the Great Depression mentality. Although I understand that generation feels the need for security that comes in having full cabinets I doubt he’ll ever need sixteen toothbrushes!
Dave is a Saint. He’s only lost it with dad a few times. I’m not known for my patience and find I’m biting my tongue a lot. I admire how well he kept it together even as he finished packing the remainder during those two hours with dad’s help yesterday morning.
Once we arrived at his new apartment and the furniture and boxes were delivered we began putting it all together before Harry delivered dad to his new abode.
Dad hasn’t overly exerted himself physically in this process but he is always exhausted. I get that. Moving is as much a mental stress as physical and at 93 I can only imagine.
Our son Jeff, who lives in town, came to help. I’m so glad he was there because after everything was unpacked, cleaned, arranged, and we were totally exhausted there was a problem getting dad’s cable TV set up.
Jeff told us to go home. He would stay until it was done. We gratefully took the opportunity. I was more concerned about Dave than dad at that point.
I can’t remember when I’ve seen Dave more totally spent. This was a very emotional move for us as well as dad. We’ve lived dad’s mental decline daily. It’s difficult to watch.
As I’ve mentioned before, dad’s not easy to love. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about the man. More often than not he’s very detached, even if he’s sitting in the middle of a room full of family. Yet, there’s a vulnerability about him that touches me.
He’s in the process of familiarizing himself with his new surroundings now. He’ll probably have several blue haired ladies fighting over him before long. It’s that subtle vulnerability I suspect.
We’re adjusting to the quiet above us. It helps to know we’ve done the best we could for him for thirteen years. In his own gruff way I know he appreciates it.
He has set a goal to live to 100. Somehow that wouldn’t surprise me much.
Have you gone through this process with an elderly relative? Please share your story with us.