Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Free at Last, Free at Last...

I'll be brief: my mother has agreed to move permanently to the retirement residence.

Also: we found Doris' house in a complete state of filth and chaos, but empty of obvious residents. Anthony changed the locks. Thus, double happy face.

We went out for dinner after it all, to celebrate. This will pretty much be the first time Anthony and I, and the kids, will be able to live in this house, without my mother's presence. We bought and moved into the place in July of 2008, and my mother moved in with us that fall.

During the time between July 2008, when we moved in, and my mother's arrival, we barely registered our lives here, there was so much to do. Those couple of months were spent combining two households, unpacking, sorting, frantically removing old wall paper, painting, refinishing floors, etc. to make the place liveable and to make my mother's room cheery and comfortable for her.

Just to remind you, Anthony and I hadn't lived together prior to buying this house. Our lives together here have been underwritten by the presence of my mother almost completely to this point in time, and as we struggled to grow to know each other in marriage, her shadow hung over all.  My children had to adjust to a new house, new schools, a new step-father AND their grandmother, all at once. We also got married in February 2009, to add to the list of major life stressors we were facing ;)

I'm amazed when I think about it. And proud of all of us. Though we had rough spots, we did our best and my mother was given four years of life that most seniors would kill to live, I bet. Grandchildren, great food, music, parties, anything my mother wanted; all she need do is ask. Oh, and a chauffeur, me.

Here we are. August 2012. I feel oddly light. It's amazing what a weight of a presence she wielded.

Mind you, she's already causing havoc at the retirement residence. She won't take instructions from the staff, and when she wants something, harasses them endlessly to get it, pronto. Exactly like she did to me for the last 4 years. They've called several times to warn me that she will need to settle down, soon. Or else.

Can you picture my 92-year-old mother out on the street, kicked out of a place meant to deal with elderly people just like her, due to her incredibly difficult personality?

Well, I still feel light. That will be her problem, if it comes to that. I've done my time, to the best of my ability.

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