Chat @ Care-giving: Door Number Two

Somehow I knew I’d be getting an early morning phone call. As I put in my hour of aerobic activity, my premonition proved accurate. Dreading the reason for the call I answered.

“Your father said he doesn’t feel like going with us today.”

“Oh?  I’m so sorry to hear that.  Too much activity yesterday?”

“Well, I know you’ve worked hard to get all this set up, but he’s not going to go.”

“That’s OK.  We’ll go ahead and keep the appointment.  If you think this property is a viable choice, then he can visit it another time. ”

The disappointment she felt wafted across the phone lines.  She thought she’d found a way to delay the process.  “Well, I felt like I needed to tell you.  I didn’t want you to waste a trip over here and then wonder why I hadn’t called.  I thought you might want to postpone the visit.”  (Yeah, sure!  She wished I would postpone the visit was more accurate.)

“Mom, I was surprised that he even went yesterday.  If you’ll remember, I’m the one that suggested that he stay down stairs, but you didn’t back me up.  Let’s just keep to the schedule.  I’ll see you later.”

“Fine, I don’t think this is the one, anyway.” (Great Mom.  Love your attitude.)

Door Number Two is without a doubt one of the loveliest properties in the Metroplex – if not the nation.  It’s not even a year old.  It is on the active senior living end of the independent living spectrum.  If I was the one looking for a place to move to, this would be where I wanted to go – no question about it.  It’s more like moving into a swanky hotel than a retirement property.  (Wait!  I’m 55!  I could move in.  Oh yeah – my husband, like my Mom isn’t looking forward to downsizing.)

When Mother and I arrived we were escorted to an elegant waiting room where we were eventually joined by a couple of employees.  When Bill and I had visited, we’d met a really sweet girl named Maggie, but along the way she’d left the property and now we had Natalie.  Joining her was a nice guy, but I forgot his name.

First we went to lunch.  Extraordinary food with excellent, personable service.  Mom even ran into a friend.  I thought we were doing great.  Then we visited the rest of the property.  Here’s the herb garden.  Here’s the state-of the-art-gym.  Look at this high-end salon.  Wow, can you believe this theater.

Mom was laughing and having fun.  She took an interest in the lives of salespeople.  When we were about to visit the apartments we ran into her friend again, who showed Mom her own apartment.  While we were checking out another floor plan, Mom ran into another friend.  She found out a couple from her social set were seriously considering the property.  I’m on cloud nine.

Finally, we walked into the largest floor plan and suddenly Mom was admitting that she felt like it was a size she would be comfortable in.  Relief surged through me.  Maybe this was it.

At the end of the tour, the pleasantries exchanged were warm and sincere.  Then we got in the car.  Among her comments:  It was dark in the hallways.  I think I’d never find my way around.  I don’t know if I’d fit in with those people.  Why weren’t there more people eating lunch?

My euphoria dissipated quickly.  I countered each of her concerns, but she didn’t seem to be buying what I was selling.

The only things she would agree with was that the food was great and that she liked the size of the apartment.  Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and it doesn’t look like my retirement property project is progressing as well as I had hoped.  We still had Door Number Three to visit.  Next week I’ll tell you about that.


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