The week before it was time for Dorothy to move into the Assisted Living my brother and I met up with some-lifelong friends from Ohio and Georgia in Gatlinburg. Yes, we share some of the same friends (-: <3.
It was a beautiful, fun weekend- the perfect distraction for what we were about to go experience. I tagged along with our Ohio friends one afternoon- over to a gallery. The paintings were amazing, the artist, Abraham Hunter, is a young man from the Knoxville area and he’s a very pleasant soul (we were lucky enough to meet him) an so full of talent. When I saw his Hummingbird with Iris’s painting- I immediately thought of mom. She’s always loved hummingbirds and always had a feeder up for them. And she always grew Iris’s- it was a perfect gift for her. So, I slept on it and went back the next day- with my friends and purchased it for her (my friends also purchased one of his paintings). I gave it to her on Mother’s Day and it’s the only painting in her living room- actually, the only thing on any wall. To be honest -it’s a gift for me as well- as I will enjoy it in my home when she’s gone.
My brother and I both took the following week off- to prepare ourselves and mom -for her next chapter in life.
She had already picked out her apartment a few weeks prior- you are on a waiting list for most Assisted Livings- in Georgia anyway- sort of like a waiting list for Kindergarten.
We spent the week assuring each other- as much as mom that we were doing the right thing. As I said before, it came down to her safety.
She decided what furniture she wanted to take. At this point it’s not about what they need it’s about what they want. She knew this was probably the last time she would move and have any control over what she wanted. So, she was very strategic in her choices- she wanted to keep it simple- didn’t want to overpower the rooms with “stuff”.
She didn’t want to take her queen-size bed with her, she said it would take up too much room. So, we went shopping for a day bed- one that would look nice and push up against the wall -longways, so she would have more room in the room. We went shopping for new bedsheets and a bedspread- she knew exactly what she wanted.
She chose her “old” chest for her clothes and wanted to take her rocking chair. This is all she took for her bedroom. She did not want to take any pictures with her- but, I took her framed Angels, I knew they wanted to be with her and that she would want them around. I also took some framed photos of the people she surrounded her life with, dad, their children, some knickknacks from her collection and pictures drawn with love from her great grandchildren. It wasn’t until several month later that I took in a bulletin board and filled it with more photos of her past and memories of her history.
Note: take a photo of how the dresser/chest is decorated- and also the bathroom sink. Duplicate this in their new place. It will look familiar to them and help with the change.
She has a loveseat and a reclining rocker in her living room- along with the Hummingbirds. A small desk sits up against the wall with the TV on top. There is a Frog that sits in the corner watching over her. It doesn’t sound like much- but, it’s very comfortable and homey. Just like mom.
Peace & Love,