Not for the weak of heart…

Yesterday I met a friend and we went over to my mom’s apartment to plan the process for closing the apartment down. There has been so much going on lately that I asked her to help me think through a plan since all my brain could do was be overwhelmed at the thought of orchestrating a move.
Kathy was great. She took one look around and said, "Don’t worry, Jan, this is really doable." Then we started to talk about some logical steps to get this all done by the end of August. Kathy has a similar position to mine with the City of Lakewood, CO. She is the Director of Community Resources there, and she not only manages all of the Parks and Recreation functions, but maintains all of the city’s buildings and cultural programs as well.
So, first step, take the things that I want. Kathy felt very stronly that anything that I wanted I should get – and then from there ask my brother and aunt. After that, my mom’s best friend in the building, Alice and then I will also talk to the building owner. I have a call into my mom’s social worker from Hospice to see if she can align me with resources that will pack and move. If not, then Kathy will get a crew together to help pack things up and whatever charitable organizations I decide upon can gave the stuff to use for the good of others. I really do not want to sell anything – although some of my mom’s stuff is old, it is in very good shape and I would like her legacy to be that of helping others less fortunate.
So, I have a plan. Next week I will start. Nick has a doctor’s appointment on Monday and then he may have surgery on Tuesday depending on whether his potassium levels can be better regulated. i will take a few days and get what I need to get done in that apartment and get all of the the players and organizations lined up so that we have a system mapped out to get us out of there by August 31.
The hardest thing about the visit to my mom’s apartment yesterday was choosing the "outfit". By that I mean I had to choose the clothes that she would be wearing in the casket. I know, I know, how morbid can you get. But before her clothes are packed up and given away, I need to choose anything else that I think she may need at the nursing home (which is not all that much) and then I had to take into consideration"the outfit".
For some reason, I was pretty rationale about the whole thing – maybe because it just seems so bizarre and so distant. I choose a couple of her favorite things – a beautiful blue/black and white brocaded jacket that I bought her for Christmas, a white brocade blouse that she bought at Coldwater Creek that she just loves, black pants and black shoes. My mother never really liked to wear dresses because of her vericose veins, and so that was not an option. I brought the outfit home and put it in the back of my closet – for another day, another time.
Health-wise, my mother has been holding her own from a lucid perspective, but she shared with me yesterday that she cannot feel the big toe on her left foot at all, and as I mentioned a few blogs ago, her legs are no longer supporting her weight. That could very well be the result of the tumor pressing up against her spine.
What truly is impressing me these days about my mom is her attitude. We had a long conversation yesterday about her apartment. I felt I had to give her one last chance to say that she wanted to keep the apartment in case she becomes the "hospice miracle". She could not see paying $1,400 a month to have an apartment sit empty, especially with her nursing home bills.
I assured her that if she truly became a miracle, that we would waste no time finding her another place to live and have one heck of a fun time picking out all new furniture for her. She liked that.
She is really keeping an amazing attitude about all of this. She doesn’t dwell on the prognosis, and she is very pleased with the care she is getting at the nursing facility. From that standpoint, she has really made this much easier for me as I am not walking around with any guilt about where she is and thinking that she would be happier some place else. Thank you sooooo much, mom!
I think the hard part is yet to come – when I close the doors on that apartment for the last time. I think I am going to take some pictures of it. I’ll post them on this site, so that you can she the great place that she spent the last 2 1/2 years and I can have as a keepsake.
More later….

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