Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Grumpy Little Eagle Has Landed.

My mother is safely home in her new assisted living apartment. And - are you ready for this? She LOVES it! (At least so far. Trying not to get overconfident that we are home free here.)

My day started at 4 a.m., when I bolted awake after slightly less than 6 hrs. of sleep with my mind racing about all that had to happen today. The bed delivery guys called at 7 saying they were loading the truck and my mother's bed would be the first stop. I called Girlchild, who had taken the day off to help, and bless her, she'd worked over 17 hours straight and still dragged her ass out of bed after 4 hours' sleep to be there for the bed delivery, and I still had Baby full of stuff to be unloaded. So at 8 this morning we were dragging stuff into the apartment, hooking up cable, etc., bed guys arrived, bed was assembled. We made the bed, Girl went off to buy a shower curtain and milk for the fridge, drop her dog with me (she's out of town the next two days) then home to get some sleep before leaving town. I started the slog to BFE. I've made the drive so much in the last three weeks, I swear I know every cow on the route. I've been watching the calves grow.

So, I get there and start loading Baby with boxes, as my mother packed the suitcase I gave her with clothes - I am not returning to the house for over a week, so I kept emphasizing the need to pack whatever she would need. She's obsessed with forms and papers, and I'm thinking clothes and underwear and shoes and deodorant and toothpaste. We finally got on the same page, and still managed to forget things, but I have spares I can bring tomorrow.

The return trip from BFE was hilarious - my mother got tired and kept remarking about what a long drive it was.

"NO SHIT it's a long drive!! 2 hours one way! Why do you think I wanted you to move before this?"

"I can't believe you've been making this long drive."


"I should have moved a long time ago."


By the time we arrived it was 2, she had opted not to eat lunch before we left, and they still had to check her in. There were more papers for her to sign and she got increasingly crabby, and I'm thinking oh shit, this isn't going well at all. But as soon as she got a sandwich and coffee her mood brightened. And by happy coincidence, the piano player guy was visiting - there is a grand piano in the living room, and a nice, silver-haired gentleman comes to play piano once a week - he sings the old songs and has a casual trivia game with the audience, telling them tidbits about their favorite stars from long ago, asking them about song lyrics, etc. My mother started out sour and crabby, and then, in spite of herself, started listening from the dining room, and singing along under her breath. I think next week she will be sitting in the audience.

Next moment of truth - she saw the apartment. It's a wee studio, and I was afraid she'd find it too small and gripe about it, especially after her crabby mood earlier. I held my breath and waited for her comments. She surprised me - actually shocked the hell out of me - by loving all of it. The chair is good, the bed is comfortable, there's plenty of room, plenty of closet space, everything is Just Right. We still need to finish things off a bit, she needs a dresser, bigtime, and when she has one I can retrieve more photos and such to decorate (serious lack of places for photos, etc., right now) and I still think we should swap the old TV I could lift for the newer TV if R can find time to help (which is a lot to ask, because it's a 4 hour round trip even without the heavy lifting portion of the day) but these are small, minor things.

And after melting down all over Girlchild on Sunday, I have to say in front of the entire internets that her contribution today was huge, though she may not think so. By the time we arrived and I got the second load of stuff unloaded and into the room (in 90+ degree heat), got the stuff unpacked, talked to the staff, etc., it was 5 p.m. and I was wiped out. If I'd had to go buy a shower curtain and milk and such before I could come home and collapse, I might not have made it. Her assistance made everything flow more smoothly. Grandma was quite cheerful when I said goodbye.

Now I have three days to buy clothes and pick up dry cleaning and clean my house and get Baby's oil changed and get her professionally washed to get the love bug guts off, before I show up for new job orientation on Monday.


Bess said...

Wee Haa! I can feel the drumbeat of tension you've been laboring under - but I see the light - waaaay off at the end of the tunnel.


Catherine said...

It was a good end to the day. May it continue to be good.

Janet said...

Awesome. I'm so glad she liked it.

rho said...

I went thru this with my aunt in AZ - so I really understand the undertaking it was for you --

My aunt was happy where she was and they had all kinds of activities and things like the piano player there too -

but how cool that she finally realized what a long trip it has been for you ...

zippiknits said...

Wheew! She loves it. Did I hear a big sigh of relief from you about 6 pm my time? Congrats, Catherine!