Sunday, May 02, 2010

Clearing Out One's Parents Home

As you all know, this has been a year of huge changes for me. Apparently I am not done with change yet, because my parents threw me a loop at the end of March.

They've been talking about moving into a retirement apartment or something like it for literally years, but felt they had to go through everything in their house, throw out and sort, sell the house, etc., before they moved. And they did nothing. My Mom literally was past it, and my Dad has never done that kind of thing, and wasn't starting now. I finally told him that he might as well quit talking about moving because if they had to do all that before they went, they weren't going. I also said that was fine, and we could figure out what to do so they could just stay in their home. But, if they were really moving, they'd better take what they wanted and leave the rest for us (my sister, brother and me) to deal with.

Well....I really must have lit a fire under him, because within two days they had picked out an apartment in a very nice retirement community, and they moved 4 days later! My sister came from California as fast as she could, and she, I, and my brother spent 3 weeks working steadily to clear things out. They'd been there about 36 years, and it's a large house with LOTS of storage, and it was full. We got through most of it before Lisa had to go home, and my brother and I are finishing up slowly. They've sold the house, and so actually, everything has gone pretty well. Everyone is so glad they made the move, and they love it there. My Mom doesn't have to cook, the food is great, they get housekeeping, and lots of other nice perks. The very day they moved, we noticed that my Mom looked so relaxed, and about 10 years younger. It was amazing. I really think it's because she no longer was surrounded by things that she thought she needed to be doing something about, and feeling guilty because she wasn't. Her memory seems better, she's walking better (getting more exercise and it's helping it seems) and she just seems more alert in general. My Dad still participates in his favorite activities of duplicate bridge and pool, and they're starting to join in things in their new community. Quite the success all around.

There have been so many changes in the last year I'm not sure whether I'm coming or going, but I'm still here, so that's good. Now I just need to find the time to do some of the things I need/want to do for me.

12 comments:

Stash said...

It certainly is a great deal of work but I bet it is comforting to know they are safely in their new place and this is behind you? And that they like their new apt?

It is nice to see your post today and know what you are up to. ;-) And, to know you are surviving all these changes with grace and cheer.

Nancy K said...

My 88 year old dad just moved from Florida where he was quickly going downhill to Michigan with the help of one of my sisters and her husband into an apartment with meals and assistance and it's like night and day. He sounds so much better when we talk and he is eating and gaining back weight he needed. Anyway, it is amazing what this move near my sisters has done for him. He isn't worrying about his health and being alone etc. He is living geographically between my two sisters and just the fact that he'll be able to see family every week and have help if he needs it has been a huge relief to him as I am sure it is to your parents. We were splitting our visits to him so now we don't have to and I'll be able to see my sisters as well as my Dad when I visit, so for me this is great too.

Mardel said...

Wow, I am so happy for them and for you, even though you had to go through all this work. But it must be worth it to see them doing so well.

Mary Beth said...

Oh My! I am so glad they are doing so well, that's amazing goodness for your Mom, but, hey, I hope you get to take a long break from ~changes~ after this one. It's a relief to have them safe and sound and all tucked away and taken care of. At least you are still plotting out the next project :)

Rhoto said...

GOOD for your parents!! My "word verification" is reste... A good, pampering idea for you, eh!!
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

gwensews said...

Change is difficult for me. I don't even move my furniture around! It's good to hear that your parents adapted so well so quickly. Change is inevitable. I hope you continue to shake yourself off and enjoy whatever gives you peace.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

I'm sure your parents happiness means a lot to you and takes a weight off your shoulders. I hope you find time for yourself now. You certainly deserve it. Take Care.

ACorgiHouse said...

You have had an overwhelming year, haven't you? I'm glad you are handling it with your usual aplomb, and I agree it is likely comforting to know your parents are settled. Now, I agree, you really do need some ME time! K

Leah said...

Glad to hear that the move was a success! I'm glad that your parents will be able to enjoy their new place. 4.5 years ago we moved my grandmother into a retirement apartment and its amazing the progress she has made!

Vicki said...

On the positive side it must be good to help them sort out the house before they have passed away. You can talk to them about all the bits and pieces you find and the history behind them. And it is good to see them happily settled.

BetsyV said...

How wonderful your parents found a good community and just packed up and went.

Exactly what did you say to them? I may need those words in the not-too-distant future!

Tina said...

Liana, isn't it incredible how giving your parents "permission" to just leave without sorting out their stuff helped them to go? I am so glad to hear that they are doing well and enjoying their new home. My parents moved to another part of the country and a much smaller property and house about four years ago and it did them a world of good to have less responsibilities and more time for fun.