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Ready to Go

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"Mom, are you ready?"  Evelyn's daughter stood in the front hallway, car keys in her hand.
 
Dressed and bag packed, Evelyn sat on the edge of her bed.  "I'll be out in just a minute" she called out from her bedroom.  This was it, the day they'd been talking about for so long.  At seventy-four, Evelyn still had a good deal of energy, but her vision was fading, and her legs didn't move as well as they used to. Her family was concerned about her getting around safely and  living in the big old house all alone.  For several months now they'd been taking her around to look at assisted living facilities in the area, and finally she had settled on one that seemed cheerful, had nice apartments, and allowed residents to have a pet.  Evelyn had made it clear she wasn't going anywhere without Max, the cat who had been her constant companion for the past eleven years. 

Evelyn sat quietly remembering the house as it had been long ago, filled with the sounds of her children's voices and her husband's heavy boots in the hallway when he arrived home from work each day.  The laughter of family gathered around the table for meals, birthdays and holidays, the tears when her son Joey died at the age of ten. The joy of grandchildren learning to crawl across the hardwood floors, the smell of countless loaves of bread baked in the oven, the patter of raindrops on the window panes. Fifty-three years of memories were wrapped up in this house, but she knew in heart that it was time to go.

Evelyn came down the hallway, cane in hand, as her daughter was securing Max's carrier in the back seat of her car.  She shut the front door behind her, checking to make sure it locked securely, then patted the sturdy old door frame one last time. "Farewell old friend," she said softly. "You've been a wonderful home all these years. I'm going to miss you!"

Settling herself into the passenger seat of her daughter's car, Evelyn noted her daughter's sadness and was determined not to make this day harder than it already was. Turning to her daughter with a smile and a twinkle in her eye she said in the brightest voice she could muster, "Hey, do you think there might be some good looking old guys at this place where I'm going?"  At that her daughter laughed, reached over and squeezed her mother's hand, and they headed down the road to Evelyn's new home.

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This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are ready or bag

10 comments:

  1. I think it is wonderful that so many Senior facilities allow a pet now. Even some nursing homes allow a pet, and some have resident pets. When I was in a nursing home, I could have brought one of mine, but I didn't...it was just temporary for me.

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  2. So much sorrow here...and yet what strength of character Evelyn has! Thoroughly compelling :) Well done.

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  3. Moving away from a family home after so many years and so many memories entrenched in the woodwork is not only painful it also gives you a feeling of betrayal as though you have left something behind which was very precious. Worst still, you have that unreasonable feeling that if long lost loved loved ones comes looking for you...you wont be there. I know I moved a year ago.

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  4. It can be a hurting time, or a new start. We get to make that choice about so many things in life.

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  5. Im so afraid it wont happen this smoothly if it must... it didn't with my dad and I just don't want to go through this sort of transition again... but who am I to complain... I get to come back home.

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  6. Great story, very heart breaking! I like how she wouldn't let go of her cat.
    : )

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  7. Used to be that old people remained part of the extended family... they found functions by which they could contribute to the general welfare, and were appreciated. As good as an old age home might be, it means a lot of isolation to most residents.

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  8. It's normal here in the Philippines to live with your family. Here in our house, there are four generations of us - my grandmother, my mother and uncles, me and my sisters and my 2 children. A nursing home is not always an option for most of the Filipinos. It's always the elderlies will live with their children wherever they go ;o)

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    1. And oh! Add to that my mother's other brothers and their cousins (my grandpa's brothers' children) live next door to us. Our houses are just side to side to side to side to side to side. That's why my cousins and I grew up together ;o)

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  9. I hope that my parents will agree to live with me. I cannot stand to think of them in a home, no matter how wonderful it is.

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