Somehow my brother beat me to Idaho. I think he was in the Wood River Valley 18 hours after I called him, if not less. From Molokai Hawaii. This is an amazing feat that I still don’t quite understand.
Anyway, I made it home after my brother. Despite the hours of travel I had to process my Mother’s death, when I pulled up in front of the house and the tiny lady didn’t open the door to let me in…this was the moment it became all too real.
A blur of holding Grandma, holding Brandon, holding Michi (Brandon’s wife) and crying. I was in the familiar surroundings of the house I moved into when I was less than 3 years old but nearly 40 years later this house felt strange and alien without Mom.
We dealt, as best anyone can, with burying our Mother. Over the next couple of days and after a great deal of conversation it was determined that the best course of action would be to move Grandma to Seattle, get her established with the relevant social services and get her moved into assisted living. I found several promising leads of places accepting folks like Grandma (low-income and old). This couldn’t be too tough…right?
Fast-forward a few weeks. Seattle. Winter. Me. My apartment. One bedroom.
This is NOT enough room for me and Grandma…
After some disappointing tours I snagged a two-bedroom house in a decent neighborhood close to work. Sure, the house sloped a bit downhill from the street…but Grandma could surely adjust…and besides, this is just until I can get her established with benefits and get her into assisted living…right?
I signed the lease and gave my brother the green light to pack the U-Haul and empty Mom’s house. The idea was that Brandon and Michi would load the U-Haul, drive to Boise and put Grandma on a direct flight to Seattle. I’d meet Grandma at the airport and she’d spend one night in our nearly empty house awaiting the familiarity of her furniture.
When I picked her up at the airport she was confused about where she was. (Remember, at this point she was 99 years old). I got her to her new home and explained that we’d get it set up properly tomorrow. She was restless…walking around the house, familiarizing herself with her surroundings. I had to explain multiple times that we were in Seattle.
By the time Brandon and Michi arrived with the U-Haul the next day it was clear that Grandma wasn’t going anywhere.