Writing about my portion of this stage of life’s journey, other than in my morning journal, has been met with internal hesitation and concern. Hesitation because it feels too hard to put in words what my experience of this has been. Even my personal journal is short on words. If you were to thumb through the pages, you’d see days with a sentence, two, or three that just ends without a completed thought process or entry. And I feel concerned because I don’t want to do it wrong. There’s fear that I will be inappropriate. What if I over-emphasize my feelings and experience over my Mom & Dad’s?
I mean, my legitimate feelings about this experience are mine to share. But, I’m afraid in doing so, I will disrespect or minimize the centrality of their feelings and journey. I have a hard time untangling that. Siphoning away from their experience is the last thing I want to do. Just because I’m of the temperament to write about this and share it… I don’t want to appropriate their journey. I’m having my own journey through this time and experience, but it isn’t the same as what they are living. I guess that is my caveat as I write and share with you. The love, concern, and empathy you feel for me, if you do, I want to both thank you and ask you to please send the lion’s share of that supportive, communal energy to them.
Dad moved out of his and Mom’s home on Friday, February 26th. They found a place through a senior living broker and felt it would work out. He was there three days before it was clear it wouldn’t. He moved back home with Mom for a week. The home that he moved into, had another home that they also own and run. They told Mom that they could provide for Dad’s needs there and the plan was to move him into that home the following week. He will have been there for five weeks on Friday.
Turns out, Dad is a unicorn in the world of assisted living. His care needs are a hybrid of two different care models. Over the past 2 months, Mom & I have discovered that they rarely intersect. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, find a 4-leaf clover, and every other wish for luck, serendipity, and rightness you can think of — we think we have found a place that can meet Dad’s unicorn status. There are logistics yet to be fully worked out, but I’m hoping this will be the beginning of a peaceful and content care solution that will allow for a new workable normal for Mom & Dad.
Within every day and every week, this journey has felt like a series of, sometimes concurrent, little and big emotional rollercoaster rides. I imagine living with a sensation of zen and just enough distance that it wouldn’t rock me side to side and make my stomach leap to my throat every time. But, I haven’t found that for myself yet. I understand the possibility of it, just not the implementation and reality of it. I want to wrap my mom up in the softest cotton cocoon and let her rest from all of this. I want to fly my dad away to a 360-degree horizon filled with billowy clouds, blue skies, and soft light. But, we aren’t there yet. And in reality, I know we won’t be able to achieve that in its entirety, but hopefully, we can find something closer to it.