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Friday, April 4, 2014

Turmoil ~ Blogging Lounge

A trip to the southern east side of the U.S. was  our vacation destination this year. Roomy and I have talked about moving south when we retired since we first married 32 years ago. We visited South Padre Island for 4 winters and loved the Texas island life. We toyed with living there. We visited Arizona a few times and talked longingly of living there. Weather in both locations would suit us just fine year 'round, but the draw back was and remains, it is too far from where our families are. As we age our priorities have shifted to being able to return "home" in a day if an emergency were to come up. The flight would need to be affordable and reasonably convenient. Neither of those locations offer that.

That is how we came to look at and discuss Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.  The trip was intended to take us through the areas of those states where we were attracted either by computer searches or recommendations by friends.

We planned nearly 3 weeks of searching. At the end of week one, a phone call notified us that Momma was going to the emergency room. She was released a few hours later and my sister had it totally under control. I talked with Momma and felt okay about staying. She seemed tired but not afraid or upset. We continued to travel, check areas of interest and visit my brother and SIL briefly. It was fun. It was relaxing. We were eager to feel "at home" somewhere as we drove and gawked. That happened almost immediately as we drove slowly through an area on the northeastern coast of Florida. (Ormond Beach, Holly Hill area.) This was our destination. We both knew it wasn't going to be better than this anywhere.

After visiting friends in St. Augustine, we continued to look around that area and around Savannah, GA. We loved our time in Savannah, but quickly determined it wasn't a place we would want to live. The towns around the city were very disappointing and to be honest, I was still thinking about what Momma was doing much more than I should have been. I can't say it detracted from our search because I felt the search was over, but we agreed to head home by way of Nashville. One day and the night with my daughter's family and then get home. It felt like time.

Turmoil. A three week vacation to scout future home sites ends in less than two full weeks because the search was over and I needed to put eyes on Momma. I knew she was physically all right, but I heard something in her conversations that was unsettling to me. Confusion, maybe depression, irritability all ringing inside my head while I tried to be excited about our future. A future which always included Momma.

The plan is to buy a house with an in-law apartment or a duplex. It was never a consideration that she wouldn't come. She had been quite happy discussing this with me just a few days before we left. Now she had no idea why I thought she would move. She wasn't moving anywhere. Totally unaware of the previous conversations. That locked in stubbornness has taken over and I'm once again in turmoil over my own life and plans.

How do you justify giving up your life plans with your husband because your mom doesn't want to leave a state where the winter makes her miserable for a year round weather in which she can sit or walk outside nearly every day? Turmoil. Going back and forth with plans inside my head. We could move and come back once a month for a couple days. Very difficult January through March, but otherwise, doable. I can just keep talking and hope she will get on board at some point again. I can just stay here until she's gone or I don't feel compelled to stay. Turmoil inside of my head and my heart. The biggest turmoil, do I just give up our wants for her wants?

We will go to our Florida home, if we live long enough, or if she softens up.

Yep, turmoil which I'm praying about.



  1. Praying is the best solution. And I am agreeing with you. Mommas are hard to live with and hard to live without. Sometimes our "sandwich generation" has our filling spread too thin. Just remember to take care of yourself and Roomy also. love you Jo Jo.

  2. Turmoil indeed. My gut reaction is to go with the 32 year dream. That being said, I think back to your involvement with your mom (from what I've garnered on facebook) and know you are both very close. You said your sister handled the emergency while you were gone. Is she close by? Is there some arrangement you could make with her regarding your mom (shared living quarters, etc?) Sorry I seem to have more questions than answers. And even after the questions, I'd still go with the 32 year dream. The opportunity may not be here when you decide to make the move later on. Peace to you as you work through the turmoil.

    1. Yes, Amy, my sister is about 10 miles away and no on the living with her part. They would not be harmonious and sis would end up in a home. She could live with us, but she isn't interested in doing that. As I said, she is not talking of anything that requires leaving her apartment.
      The only possible choice could be to hire someone full time, when needed.
      The biggest problem is that I don't think I can leave her, I feel very conflicted.
      Thank you for your thoughts, many people agree with you.

  3. I retired in 09 wemoved into a house with the intentions of Finnishing it so mom could come live with us...before we could get ready for mom she fell ill and had to be put into a nursing home...shortly there after my roomie of 35 years got to sick for me to continue taking care of and had to be put into a nursing home...we had plans of traveling and such but now I guess I will have to do it by myself.....point is we waited too long to do what we wanted now we are not able to....just dont wait too long to live your dreams.....

    1. Yes, I hear you, Judy. I have that playing in my mind. We are not young. I know. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Ultimately this will be you and Roomy's decision, and nothing that any of us say will change or shape your mind, but you put it out here for us to muddle through with you. It made me think about what I would do in the same situation... it didn't take me long, but I my situation is different than yours. I would stay where I could be close to my Mom. Yes, it might mean that things change before the opportunity to travel comes, and it might mean that the move that was planned is postponed, or given up entirely, but I would still stay close. There's only one of my Mom, and I am greedy, I want every single moment I can have with her, for as long as those moments last.

    Okay, in all fairness, I don't want to live in Florida either. heheh ;-)

    You will find what is right in your heart Jo, be still and listen.

    1. Rain~I think I already know I cannot go and leave her here. I spent way too many years without her in my daily life and I don't even think I would be any kind of happy with such a heavy heart. I not only owe her that, I owe myself that. The turmoil part is that I also owe Roomy and me our healthy choice. So getting her to go is the goal.

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  6. All selfishness has been removed before I respond..... :-)

    You only need to look inside to find your answer. Consider your most recent trip. Consider your thoughts about Grams while traveling. Does caring for her and keeping a close relationship with her create a warmth in your soul? What would leaving her behind do to that?

    See the answer now? No?

    Didn't you make a living, at one point, selling?

    Isn't everyone in some sort of sales? Don't we sell ourselves to others every new encounter? You've 'sold' ME on more things than I care to admit.

    It's time for your all time greatest sell. Don't let go of a dream, you've just encountered an obstacle, and one that God has given you the natural abilities to overcome.

    May I suggest starting with a nice, framed, picture of your new place positioned in her current home.

    Love you!

    1. I have raised the most brilliant and living son ever. Thank you Baby for all of this support, which I know goes against your own wants.
      This is exactly what my plan is...selling her repeatedly and talking about Florida and horrid Michigan winters and on and on...
      I simply can't leave her, I know that.

    2. Make that the most loving son...though you are living! 💙

  7. Follow the dream...your mother has followed hers and she is living a good life. But do not leave her there. You just need to get her mind going in the "not spending another winter here" mode. Just like she does not remember the conversation that she was ready to move, she will not remember how long she has been in Florida. Work on her, of all the people that I know YOU need to move south. Work on getting out of the cold and bringing Momma with you. Get your sister involved, she has an interest in this also.

    1. Sis is okay with the move and she knows how difficult Michigan winter is on Momma. You're right...I have time to get this done.
      It's not like I'm alone in this challenge! I have support and I have God for wisdom and strength...yep, we can do this.
      Thanks, Guy and you're right, I do need to do this.

  8. I think you should take her with you...period. Don't give up your dreams, my friend. Pray hard. God will offer up a solution although it may not be of your liking. Whatever will be, will be. It will still be there waiting for you and Roomy when the time is right to go. HUGS

  9. Ya know Cathy, in a perfect world, she would be excited to not have to winter here again. She'd be thrilled to live in a duplex with her own things and privacy and us right there beside her. Who knows, maybe our world will become perfect in a year and a half. Only God knows, I guess we have to wait me see.
    Thanks for the never ending support.

  10. I went to work for Social Security as a claims rep because it was easier to transfer to the other side of the country than another borough in NYC. Got an offer to go to San Diego--my father died.
    I was 40---San Diego was perfect for me but....
    I loved my mother incredibly but the next decade was difficult. Five years ago I finally ended up moving-- a small coastal city South Carolina that had never registered on my radar. It's an entirely different life than I had lived or imagined but strangely every year I like it more.
    We do things for our parents that we had never thought about--but I have to say I would love to have my parents back for just one day--and as most children do wish I had been more patient but I know I was good enough

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Pia. I think we all do what feels right and know we are doing the best we can. I know what's right for me and writing it out certainly helped me gain perspective. Hearing this input also helps sort out the options.


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