Body hugging, slim fit, tear-away sides… my browser history looked like I was researching sexy lingerie, especially when I got to the strap–ons. If only that were the case. Not so lucky, I was on the hunt for the best incontinence products available. That’s when I realized, we’ve crested the hill. We’ve been pedaling diligently up a long, slow grade and now we’re on the downside. But we’ll enjoy the ride as long as we can, even if we’re just coasting along. Now, where can I order some tassels for those handlebars?
In a very timely visit, my sister Jan has been touring Yellowstone National Park this week. The park was one of the more spectacular venues my family visited on our 11,000-mile cross-country adventure in 1963. For me, seeing it when I was only six years old, Yellowstone left an indelible impression. I have also revisited the park in the past and hope to go again someday. For now, I will enjoy it through my sister’s recent pictures and this except from A Bridge Between which may help explain why both the park and my father hold a special place in my heart.
We’re in the homestretch of moving my mother to a new assisted living apartment. It has taken six weeks, sheaves of paperwork, many friends and angels, on-site contributions from five siblings and the distant emotional support of four other brothers and sisters. For their part, my parents have presented an iron will throughout it all, a strength that continues to bind them despite their physical separation.
Our goal is in site. Tomorrow, my mother will once again reside within the same walls of my father’s rehab and long-term care facility, as closely reunited as possible, if not in the same bed. Perhaps time will draw them closer; perhaps not. Their journey will not end with this move. It is a new beginning, yet another adventure. Throughout their years together, my parents have traveled extensively by car, by van, in a trailer, by boat. I think now of the bright yellow hazard signs posted on mountain highways we once wandered: “Beware of falling rocks.” Who knows what lies ahead.
Posted in A Bridge Between, On Aging Parents
Tagged #aBridgeBetween, a bridge between, adult children of aging parents, aging parents, assisted living, children and care of aging parents, eldercare, family relationships, quality of life for the elderly, the psychology of aging
I entered through the backyard gate and felt instantly that this was a place much more than a plot of land with a house and yard–this was a home. That evening, surroundings that would be most charming and well-groomed, under any circumstances, had been transformed by expert eye and ambitious hand into a fairytale land sparkling with life and love. Despite the fact that the sun would soon set on that mid-summer evening, anticipation swirled and filled the air with calm tinged with excitement like the earliest rays of light of a new day dawning–and rightly so, as a new chapter would soon begin. Though I had an inkling of what might transpire in the next few hours, it was not my story to tell and, so, I mingled patiently with the other guests, wondering if I was correct in assuming that this event billed as an engagement party would be, instead, a wedding.
We (the dog and I) were out on our morning constitutional (the dog’s, not mine). Crisp air and clear blue sky welcomed us as we circled the yard, and the greenery stood lush and tall on this first full day of summer, screening us from all the rest of the world. The raspberries were fattening and the lilies on the rock wall craned their tall stalks, the swelling buds standing atop like sentinels. With a chirp, a whirl of feathers rustled through the oak leaves, landing just a few feet from me, eye height.