Leaving Folks Behind,
or letting go of care-taking for a little while.
I can't leave my boys for a year! Jack is eight, Ted is seven, and Charlie is four-and-a-half. I have been watching these three fabulous grandsons grow up since they were born. I've been in their home to visit or to babysit, or go on an outing, three times a month. If I leave, I feel like I'd be breaking something in that covenant with them--that promise of being available, being present in their lives. What will our relationship look like when I get back? When I want to come back? Things are going to be all kinds of different! This piece of the grand adventure? I don't want to look at it, but I think I better reason it out before I go off into the wilds.
I do have a pile of miles on my Jet Blue. I guess I can park the RV somewhere, and fly home periodically to get a visit with the boys, and an Astor Place haircut. I worry about parking and leaving a loaded RV somewhere out there--I am a New Yorker--don't want to come back to find it empty. I think maybe my fears around getting robbed are indicative of my greater fears of leaving home, leaving what is familiar. Dunno. Certainly, this is something else to consider before going.
She will be 94 in January. If she is still alive in June, it's going to be a big change that the nearest proximity child will be hitting the road. Brother Ed is 100 miles away, and he often travels for his work.
Tom & Alice live thirteen miles down the road, but they're full, with the care and feeding of three kids--three different baseball teams, swim lessons, cub scouts, theater club, ceramics, birthday parties, play dates and doctor appointments, not to mentions schools and homework!
Jane and Conrad (my eldest sister's kids) both have high-powered executive jobs that involve travel. They have families, and in-laws families--mostly haven't been able to be on deck to take care of Nana. But you know what? I don't get to control any of what happens once I step away, out of the equation. I trust them to figure it out, the same way they would if I suddenly became ill or dead.
Every day, I thank all the gods and goddesses above for The Queen of Peace Residence, and the good care mom has received from the nuns, nurses, and aides who run that place.