The Times, They are a-Changing

Today I signed a lease on behalf of my mom for her new place. It's a small apartment in a retirement center only a couple of miles from my home. There is much to like about the whole thing - she no longer has to take care of the big house and property, she'll be just minutes away but in her own place, she gets meals and housekeeping and a service coordinator (social worker type) to assist her whenever she needs to arrange things, the grounds are well kept and not too intimidating for someone who doesn't see well, the people are very friendly, there is a geriatric hospital with geriatricians on the grounds. We also have relatives in nearby towns and she has friends here with whom she went to high school or who used to live in her town and, like her, moved here to be near their children. The move is a week away.

There was a last-minute glitch when the retirement place informed me that they didn't have a power of attorney in their file and I couldn't sign the lease without it. (I thought we'd already done that when she was here to look at the place nearly two years ago.) In the end, at 10:30 this morning I called her local attorney, who was our minister's son when I was growing up, who painted our house to make money when he was in law school, and he drove over to my mom's house with a power of attorney form before noon (because she was headed out for a luncheon) for her to sign, and then faxed it to the retirement place before our meeting at 2:30. Ah, small towns. Where else can you call a guy you haven't seen in 30 years and ask him to drive over to your mom's house RIGHT NOW and take care of some paperwork?

Meanwhile, after a last trip to the beach with a couple of old friends with whom she's taken many beach trips, she's going out for lunch or dinner with all kinds of groups of people to say goodbye. Her next door neighbor is having a fancy china luncheon for her tomorrow. At these gatherings, she instructs them all not to cry so that she won't cry, and so for entertainment they read silly things about getting old that people pass around on the internet and they laugh a lot instead. This is how she wants to do it. If she needs to cry, she's not going to do it in front of anybody.

So this is a hinge time for her and for me.