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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Uncle Harry and assisted living

turtle love
I have been very fortunate. My father died when I was a teenager and my mother is  still healthy and active at 86.  I was not really involved in the deaths of my grandparents since I  was young and traveling as a hippie. My father's brother, my Uncle Harry is 93 and he had been living at home until recently.  He could no longer manage in February and he moved to Jersey to set up residence in an assisted living facility.
It is hard to imagine the difficulties of adjusting to a new living situation at that age. However, necessity and fear can be great motivators. The home situation was no longer safe enough for him and we worried all the time about his health and safety.
Truthfully, I did not know a couple of things after his move. Would he adjust to communal living and how would I handle  the frequent contact. I forgot to mention that the facility is 10 minutes from our home. Throughout my life, I have not been  close to my uncle. We had the obligatory visits and phone calls but we both kept our distances. However, now there is a closeness, that has been birthed out of necessity. It often fills me with gratitude for the opportunity to know him better and to see the grace of communal living as an elder. He has been in his new home for a month and I  now have much greater appreciation for our ability to be  more flexible with our ability to  love each other  and  to adjust to  the  changed routines of  daily living.
Thank you Uncle Harry for sharing the miracles of elder living with me.
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