I’m back in Charlotte this morning to wade through a few hundred emails that cascaded in during my four day absence. That faucet never turns off, let alone slows to a trickle. It looks, however, as if my return home was premature. Events in the Midwest have turned for the worse. The timeframe continues to shrink.
Still, out of sheer habit a letter went out this morning to my parent’s new address. I wrote it here at my desk, put a stamp on the envelope and got a strong cup of coffee on the way to the postbox. There was plenty of time yesterday to fire up my laptop on the flights home but it stayed in the overhead bin. I was literally at a loss for words.
Instincts and intuition both point to today’s note as probably one of the final pages to my parents as a twosome. I’d love to be wrong. This note was a tortuous half hour in the making, and that is far beyond the typical whip-it-out pace of this Friday morning ritual. My best hope is to do this again next Friday and a few more Fridays after that. A half hour of very labored prose is a price I would be all too willing to pay.
May 21, 2010
Mom and Dad: The first thing that comes to mind is how proud I am of how you both handled the abrupt move to your new situation. Looking back with the benefit of two days of hindsight, it is fortuitous that we did so. Honestly, I’m not sure where we’d be or what we would have done if the forced move was not made. Mom, you asked me a few times if it was the right thing, and my answer each time was ‘yes.’ I still believe that right now. There is never a perfect time to move but this was the right time.
Dad, this will be the best setting for mom and for you. There are people there who care for her and will care for her. And they will care for you, too. It’s easy for me to say this because it’s not me in your shoes, but I could not have coped if this did not come to pass. It is our duty to see to your guy’s well being as best we can; Lord knows you had enough years doing the same for us. I don’t always agree with the tactics of your other son but I do agree with his aims. I agree too that it is just a change of address. I wasn’t for such a quick jolt but it clearly was the best decision all of us could have made. So he did the right thing in pushing. The best we can do as a family is keep moving ahead even if it’s not the ideal situation we would all hope for. Your other son and I would not be able to rest without knowing we’d done all we could to make you comfortable – and to keep you together. And together you are.
The setting at ______________ is incredible. The people seem good, and they seem to be genuine and they seem to care for the residents. I agree that your new room isn’t exactly the same as what you left behind but it’s pretty close. You spent most of your days in the bedroom and kitchen and family room. And that’s what you have now. It’s just that the dimensions are a bit different.
Ellen and Reid have both called and asked to be kept up to speed on things. They send their best to the both of you. It was an act of providence that they were with the two of you just two weeks ago. They’ve both mentioned how thankful they are that they made the trip.
All of us are in a familial state of shock. The head person there said it is the norm for new residents to feel anxious and displaced. Ralph and I are there with you on that score. But you made the best decision possible given the circumstances you face. The timing may have felt out of kilter at the time, but thank goodness you are in a spot where you’ll be cared for and loved – and you’ll be together, too.