Twelve years ago I sold my home in another city, packed my belongings and moved my entire life to Austin. I was happy to put everything in my rear view mirror and begin a new adventure. Everything was different….finding new doctors, checking out grocery stores, learning a complex computer system at work, establishing relationships with co-workers, and making new friends were but a few of the “new” in my life. I wasn’t young when I made this life-changing transition so each fresh challenge was stressful. While I was undergoing all of this change, I had no way of knowing if my decision would be a good one or a bad one. Only time would tell. Hindsight is always 20/20 but after twelve years now in Austin, I can unequivocally acknowledge that I overwhelmingly made the right decision. Everything about my move here has only reaffirmed my decision. But the road to happiness and a peaceful existence wasn’t without growing pains along the way.
Recently my family was tasked with making a life changing decision for a family loved one. At 85 years young, this was a huge life-altering decision. No longer able to live independently, and acknowledging the need for him to be closer to family members who could be his health care advocates, it was mutually agreed by all that a move was necessary.
The sheer logistics of a move from one city to another can be exhausting…arranging furniture movers, stopping and starting utilities, change of address notifications complicated by disorientation made worse by short-term memory issues.
The most difficult part for me was seeing my loved one through different eyes. One time strong, vibrant, extremely intelligent and competent in all situations and now diminished by the aging process to needing assistance in all areas of ADL’s. The saddest part is that he recognizes that he has some issues and is striving with grace and dignity to accept new living arrangements and changes in everything he knows.
We traveled this Thanksgiving to San Diego to visit family and for a few short days, we tried to experience a symbolic return to earlier family gatherings…the traditional meal offerings, a little sightseeing and birding at Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma, and watching old scary movies reminiscent of our youth.
End of life decisions are so emotionally ridden and each of us will face changes as we age. Our loved one planned extremely well and is financially secure. Combined with the support of family, we are hopeful that he will be able to have the highest quality of life possible for however much time he has left in a life well-lived.
Wishing all a Happy Life!!!