Monday, November 20, 2023

Next chapter

I'm here. There's lots to process since Mom's passing. 

I think the best possibility is to relocate to the family home in Massachusetts. Knowing that Dad's 84, in a fragile mental condition and living alone screams a message of need to me. My Wife and I had been talking for years about moving out of rural Nevada. We both have family in New England. There are possibilities for her to stay with a cousin while I get the family home in better condition and able to house us.

My sister seems okay with the idea of assisted living for Dad but it seems irresponsibly expensive. He's in a place that has been home for more than 50 years. It's like "muscle memory," he knows the quirks of the house. Mom and Dad lived frugally and amassed a reasonable nest egg. One night Dad was on a rant about needing to be in a nursing home or "old folks" home. I asked if he was comfortable spending thousands of dollars each month for such a thing. He was shocked when I gave him the number for living in one of those places. For now, we're still in Nevada and my sister and her husband are 30 minutes away from Dad but I think they're beyond burned out on taking care of old people.

Mom's funeral was a nice gathering for our family.  I got to see friends and family members that I've not seen in 30 years. We'd worried that nobody would show up. We were wrong, very wrong. I think we had about 50 at the funeral and 35 at the dinner.

Aside from my wife, all of my immediate family was there. Dad, Sister, Brother in Law, my three kids and Son's wife and my ex-wife. She and her husband went east back in September and made a point to have dinner with the family. Mom was very happy to have seen them. We had no idea that she'd pass shortly after.  Despite the circumstances, everyone was great. We had a very nice visit, My Son has never been back to Massachusetts since we left and his Wife had never been. They got to see things that blew their minds. A few years ago, my daughters had come with me for my cousin's wedding. We spent time exploring things that they had found online.  Places like Emily Dickinson's house and the Beneski Museum of Natural History, both in Amherst Massachusetts. At my first job, I worked down the street and unknowingly drove by the place lots of times. For this trip, the kids all decided to see the Beneski again. My Daughter in Law wanted to see it. I had other plans for part of the day so I got there about an hour before closing and had time to look at most of the fossils.  After that, we went to Yankee Candle in South Deerfield, we stayed until closing at Yankee and then drove up to the condo we rented before moving west so the kids could see it. This was Tuesday, the day after the funeral. Everyone was scheduled to fly out late Wednesday afternoon which gave us another chance to share lunch with Dad and my Sister and her Husband. The family had to be out of their AirBnB by 10, so Dad and I went to help wrap up the move-out. It was a cold and wet morning. After leaving, the kids wanted to visit a store they'd seen while driving to their Mom's friend. That turned out to be a wild goose chase but it was an adventure when it started snowing... on November first. We had some extra time before our lunch date so we went to see dinosaur tracks along the Connecticut river in Holyoke. Another place that I've been by countless times and had no idea that it existed. My ex and I lived almost directly across the river even. The kids and I went out into the rain and looked at the the many tracks, their Mom and my Dad stayed in the warm car and out of the rain.

There's more.

I'll follow up soon.

thanks for being here for me.


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