This series of reprinted posts is a tribute to my mother, Esther Tamara Rukasin Annis, who died on December 5, 2013.
Fresh posts will resume sometime soon. For now, I hope you'll spend the time with us as we remember our mom.
You get what you pay for. The "2 guys and a truck" were exactly that - and they were 6 hours late, too. But G'ma is moved into her pod-castle, and nothing was broken or lost during the move. I probably should've checked the apartment before we left, but G'ma was in the car and it was already 4pm and I was tired. Very very tired. And she doesn't have to vacate the Old Folks Home space until mid-September, so I have time to dispose of the detritus left behind.
I'm guessing that architects of pod-castles have determined that residents in Assisted Living spend most of their time in the bedroom. G'ma's is huge, with a picture window framing the mountains and the sunset. All of her bedroom furniture and some of the living room furniture fits comfortably. The living room space is another story entirely. She's watching tv at an angle, there's no getting out onto the patio without moving an arm-chair, and that 27" tv really should be a flat screen instead of jutting out into the room like an elephant's trunk. But she's safe and her immediate surroundings are familiar and those were my main goals.
And I'm exhausted. Fell asleep on the couch at 9:15 last night (hence the delay in publishing this post) and woke up at 4am grinding my teeth and panicked. With nothing to which I could attach my heebie-jeebies (a great word from childhood which does not get enough use in adulthood) I felt like an idiot - but an awake idiot. She's in. The move is done. The major pieces we left behind have been spoken for. What am I worrying about?
The caregivers in the pod-castle were responsive and kind and remembered G'ma's name and told her they wer glad she had come to join them. There was a 20-something volunteer perkily volunteering. The med-tech had issues with the punctuation on a medicine bottle's label (omitting the period between do not crush and open capsule and mix with applesauce leads to an interpretation requiring G'ma to swallow a capsule the size of her pinkie --- the whole pinkie --- instead of snacking on an applesauce/potassium fruit cup 3 times a day) and no one seemed to want me to write a check for her rent, but other than that the pod-castle was exactly as advertised. The residents were friendly, the big screen tv in the rec room has an easily understood remote, and dinner, though served earlier than she'd have liked, was "good.... interesting.... good." The morning staff will bring her a breakfast tray at 10am, and it will be just what she's been eating for the past 40 years. "OOOH, that will be lovely."
I left notes everywhere, reminding her that she's in her new home and reiterating the process which will bring help to her suite. I never lost my patience when she asked (every 15 minutes) "Why am I moving?" I connected her tv (though I lost the remote) and found Star Trek for her to watch. I laid her nightgown and bathrobe and slippers on the bed. Her laundry hamper is just where she wanted it to be and her clocks are all re-set to the right time.
So why is my stomach in knots this morning?
As we were falling asleep last night, TBG murmured "You're a good daughter. You know that, don't you?" Yes, I know that. I just wish the status didn't come with so much angst.
First published August 4, 2009)