Tuesday, October 01, 2013

How Do You Prepare?

How do you help your dad prepare for such a life changing event as moving from his home of 49 years, a home he built with his wife, into a retirement community?  
This has been my monumental undertaking over the last year and a half.  
Cleaning, organizing, purging and helping.  
The big move happens on Saturday October 5th. 
 I will be driving to Grand Rapids on Friday to help with a few of the last minute details before the movers show up at 8:30 Saturday morning.  

We bought our oldest daughter with us last weekend for a much needed distraction.  
You can get a LOT more done when he is not all up in your business, LOL.  
She brought her newest baby peacock, Gizmo.  
Who is super adorable!

This picture is my favorite.  
Grandpa and Gizmo checking each other out!

He was eating a doughnut and everything is that crazy bird's business!

As long as he had a bird on his shoulder he stayed put and out of the cleaning frenzy.

Eventually though, we had to have him go into his room and help decide what he is taking 
and what he is getting rid of.  
This is the room all cleaned out of stuff.  

All the papers and photos from the tall dresser are in the top of the closet and in the boxes.  
They can be gone though later.  
All we are doing is packing what is moving with him for right now, for him to function.

 I don't think he realized how many pairs of sox he actually had!  
The funniest thing we heard from the other room was our daughter shouting at him
 (he is pretty deaf and won't wear his hearing aids)  

"How many heads do you have grandpa?"  
There were some funny moments.

This is the house I grew up in.  
My mom and dad planned it and built it.  
We moved there when I was 5 years old.  
It is sad, but it is time for the next phase of life.  
He is no longer able to take care of that big house by himself and we are too far away to do it.
 He is not safe there.  
The cons have marked him and he is a target. 
 No one lives there but him and his cat and she can't call 911 if he falls, and he does fall.

I was cleaning in the bathroom and got the linen closet completely emptied.  
There was so much stuff in there!

My mom's favorite color was purple and you can see the purple foil wall paper and the lavender tub (and sink) and used to be toilet, which is now white since I replaced it.

We had cleaned out my old room, which was my younger sister's room more recently 
and used that as a staging/storage area as we worked.  
My daughter had begun painting dragons on the walls for her.  

We moved my sister out the beginning of August.  
I knew this day was coming for dad and had to get her settled too.  
She has Cerebral Palsy.  
She needed to be in a place of her own before I could move him.  
He needed to see her settled.

Now there is just the rest of the house to clear away and clean and pack what is moving.  

There is a LOT of work ahead of us. 

A dumpster is being delivered Oct 11th.

It's just me and my hubby to do the work.

The once cleaned table is now a packing hot spot.  
Dad and Chris talk about what to take from his desk and pack up. 
 He has a huge amount of old 8mm movies to bring with him.

This is the face of one really good sport!  
I could not get through this part of my life without the love and support of my amazing husband. 
 He has put up with more than one person should have to!
Thanks for your love and for listening to all dad's stories, again.  
Do you still love that car?  

I love my dad and I am very glad I have had him to myself for the last year and a half.   
Even though it has been extremely challenging to run three households, manage 2 handicapped sisters and my dad all while working full time, and taking care of my own family, 
I would not trade the time I have had with my dad for anything. 

 Please keep us in your prayers during the upcoming weekend as we 
move him into his new home at Villa Maria.  

It is a beautiful place and I think he is going to love it there.

A new adventure awaits him, beginning on Saturday.  

With God's help it will be a wonderful time for him!



Happy Cottage Quilter said...

This is such a difficult time in your life. These changes will be challenging for your Dad. My FIL still lives in the house he and my MIL lived in all their 70 years of marriage. Thankfully two of my sisters in law live on the same property, so they are always checking on him. He would never move. It's all we can do to get him out of the house to feed him a meal. It's a tough time of life. I wish you all well and that your Dad will like his new place.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I don't know that there is any way to prepare for this, my friend, you are at the top of my prayer list right now for peace and His merciful presence during these challenging days. This is a timely post as my dear MIL is 91 today... we all do our best, one day at a time. Sending you hugs of support. That baby peacock is just adorable!

Esch House Quilts said...

You do have a lot on your plate! Sounds like a wise decision to get your sister settled first. Good luck with the move!

I don't know whether to say "no wonder you sew" or "when do you find time to sew?" :)

Annemiek said...

Dh and I had to clean out my parents house and his parents house after their passings, so I can relate a bit.(Worst thing was tossing my mum's old pots and pans in the dumpster. The ones she used to cook our meals during my childhood..)
You don't (can't) prepare, you just do, because there's simply no other choice.
Hope your sister as well as your dad will live happily in their new homes.(and there'll be some weight lifted from your shoulders..)

Susie Q said...

I do hope the move goes well and your Dad settles in. My DH's father moved to a retirement community and we were worried about him but it was the best thing he ever did. He loved the social side of the complex and made many new friends. Will be thinking of you in this busy time. Susie x

dianne said...

my heart goes out to you, dear friend ... my sister wouldn't allow my mother to be in her apartment when i packed up her stuff, and my mother never forgave either of us - we moved her five times in four years , from a trailer to a house to an apartment to assisted living to a full-care room ... it broke my heart every time ... and when her Life ended, the only real estate she could have called her own was the bed she slept in, in a room she had to share with another dying stranger, and even it (the bed) was rented...

okay, that wasn't very encouraging, was it? just do your Best - his angels will take care of the rest...

Sara said...

You are a very strong and caring person Pam and I know God is looking out for you. He will always be with you friend! I pray that your dad transitions smoothly and enjoys his new living quarters immensely.


Karen said...

Even in all the change it seems incredibly organized to me, really. Lots of work! I am right behind you with my parents two homes full of 'stuff'...just getting them to agree to change is difficult. I think retirement communities can be good to relieve your worry but also great for his soul with others to talk to :)

Faith said...

Ive been thinking of you Pam xxx I know youre so busy at the moment and my thoughts are with you all the way and giving you a helping hand spiritually xx

Brenda said...

Oh my Pam, you have had a lot on your plate. I knew that from our dinner out the one time but I must have messed some of it along the way because I did not know you had already moved your sister.

Michele said...

That is a huge job but as others have said, so necessary. You'll certainly deserve a nice break when it is all done.

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