Another big day in Seattle. This morning Kate and I sorted through a closet at Mom and Dad's house, filling bags with shoes that may be 15 and 20 years old and will never be worn again, slacks that not fit in years, turtlenecks with stains and tears, ties that Dad has already said he does not want, belts that will never again go around Mom's waist. Mom is a great saver. Dad always wanted to clear things out. He'd be pleased with what we accomplished today. Mom would never let us hear the end of it. We took a lot of photographs and were filled with nostalgia from moment to moment.
We found the set of missing keys to Dad's car in a purse that Mom carried to Merrill Gardens four years ago. It's four years ago this month that we moved our parents into assisted living in Queen Anne. And we've moved them three more times as their needs increased and their physical capabilities lessen. It's been a very long and arduous four years for all of us, parents and siblings. None of it has been easy. Who knew? Who knew anything at all?
Kate and I worked for over two hours this morning in that one closet and that is about the limit, especially with a Benedryl coursing through my system. House dust got me five minutes into the task. Stopped for a double shot Americano on my way to see Mom and Dad.
Our task this afternoon was to draft a letter to friends who've been in touch with them via letters and cards since the Christmas holidays. Dad talked about what he'd like to say and I transcribed directly into a word document.
Mom talked about many things as we worked, but few of her words were related to the letter itself. I've begun transcribing what she says as she says it and am finding that there is a theme of late among all the sentences that drift off or end with colloquialisms and filler phrases. Mom would speak, doze off and then begin her narrative again. I managed a rough draft of the letter to friends before Dad went off to his room for a nap.
Later in the afternoon, caregivers got all the folks outside on this beautiful day for a cook-out. They called it a barbecue, but being from Texas I would not call what they were preparing a real barbecue. Just really nice grilled shish-kabobs. Everyone seemed to be wearing brimmed straw hats from the house so I got Dad's straw summer hat from his closet shelf and he looked quite dashing.
Left them just after 4:00 and headed to Caroline and Steve's to see the other two grandchildren for the first time. Charlie and Lulu were in the midst of an early supper and I managed to eat a few of their tater tots, miniature meat balls and even some green garden peas.
That was it for supper. Made Charlie laugh when I put my hand out for green peas.
They are well and growing, growing. Lulu took me on a walk around the block and we picked a few blackberries from a neighbor's bushes, smelled lavender and generally had a nice time together.
These four children are so self-possessed and sure of their place in the world. That would be the result of good parenting and plenty of opportunities for learning. Hurray for my daughters and their spouses.
By the way, Caroline and the kids chose a new small orange kitty for their household today. He's really cute. Our family sure likes orange cats.
So now I am over at Jeanne's using her wifi. Got locked out of Caroline's and she couldn't remember her password and was reading bedtime stories to her kids. Need to get back to the house soon as it's 9:30 and tomorrow is another days of visits. All of a sudden I am really, really tired.