Where have we been?

Absent.

Elsewhere.

Distracted.

Missing.

The time has come. Mom is ready to move out of my childhood home. She’s lived there since 1957 and raised 3 boys there. Dad passed more than 2 years ago. She finally retired in December. Her last dog passed at the new year. The house is too much work for a little 86 year old lady.

It’s her decision. She is ready. She has decided that she wants to live with us in San Diego rather than with my brother in our hometown. She hates winter and loves dogs.

I’ve spent the last two weeks back east helping her sort, clean, decide, pack, throw out and donate. Her ticket has been purchased. I fly back Mother’s day weekend. We spend the week finalizing. She flys back with me, first class, to her new home in San Diego on May 18, 2018. Her new home is the first floor bedroom of our house.

Fearsome has been a big part of it all. From getting stuck on packing tape to literally getting himself caught in the recycle bin when the lid fell shut. He’s there all the way.

So now you know. We’ve been beyond work distraction to major life changes. We need to reflect on this more. We will post more about aging, emotions, family, changes, life, blessings and gratitude.

Gratitude for the opportunity and ability to support the one who once supported me into her final phase.

I’ll call it what it is.

A blessing.

Live from New York

Fearsome and his family take on The Big Apple!

Fearsome and the Family

Wind blown with Mom on Top of The Rock

At St. Patrick’s

In Time Square with The Better Half

Enjoying Renoir

Eating real Chinese (except with a fork)

Experiencing Egyptian ruins

Mom

Mom turns 85 this week. Mom is recovering well from the mild stroke she had back in early December. I’m flying out Tuesday to visit mom to celebrate her birthday this week. I got her a gift from my local Apple Store.

Apple Watch Sport and a Milanese loop magnetic band.

Apple Watch Sport and a Milanese loop magnetic band.

Mom lives alone. Mom occasionally falls. Mom wants to remain in the house she and dad purchased in 1957. Mom cherishes her independence. Mom needs some type of device to call for help just in case.

I’ve researched the Life Alert buttons, the call center monitors and the like. All of them scream you are old and you have to now wear this horrible looking button around your neck. Plus you must now have an ugly two way monitoring station connected to some call center in your home with a monthly fee. And, oh by the way, don’t venture out of range of this station unless someone is with you. Stay Put! Wear This House Arrest Button …FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY DAMMIT!

Enter Apple products. Mom already has an iPhone, an iPad and has WiFi in her house. If her phone is with her she is covered …such as when she leaves the house. However she doesn’t carry the iPhone with her in the house. Last summer Apple added an SOS feature to the Apple Watch OS. By giving her this new watch I will put a life alert system right on her wrist. One that she can even wear in the shower.

The Apple Watch features a new SOS alert that you can activate from the screen that will call 911 first and then start calling the contacts you have in your iPhone’s emergency contact list automatically. What if she falls and can’t activate the screen you ask? Apple’s SIRI has that covered as well. The Apple Watch responds to the “Hey Siri” command and will call 911, my brother, myself or whoever she chooses simply with her verbal command right from her wrist. Her phone doesn’t have to be with her as it will use the WiFi in her house. If she is out her phone is in her purse and she can still use the  Apple Watch as it will then call through the phone.

Was it inexpensive? No.

Was it reasonable for what it will do? Hell yes.

Was it a bargain in order to have mom wearing a stylish hip happening piece of technology on her wrist that doesn’t scream “I am old and my son makes me wear this help I’ve fallen and can’t get up button”? Big hell fucking yes!

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Knowing this information, what do I want for Christmas next year? An Apple Watch. You don’t have to be 85 to fall and not be able to get up.

Mom, Winter Solstice and More Tradition

A friend and reader text me earlier to check on mom. He nudged me since I hadn’t written. Mom is doing ok. I say ok because while her drive, outlook and spirit are very much all going for her, her body is becoming frail. As long as her blood pressure can be controlled she shouldn’t have any more small strokes. She will recover in a couple months from the small ones she had. Her health checks out good otherwise but she is dizzy, unsteady and tires easily right now.

Her 85th birthday is in late January and I have already booked the trip out to be there. We are installing a chair lift for her staircase, getting her an “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” button and changing a few things to make life alone in the house she purchased in 1957 a bit safer. She wants to work, she wants to live alone in her house, she wants to drive and she is determined.

I realize her days are limited, as does she. However she has enough means to bring in some help if she needs it. As her son it’s my job to keep an eye out, advise her strongly if necessary and help her achieve her goals for enjoying what time she does have. I’ve asked her if she would move here as I have a first floor bedroom suite she can move into, she says maybe one day.

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Happy Solstice to All Y’all! …(pleural for y’all)

On this the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, I am reminded that tomorrow really will be a new day. Tomorrow starts the new cycle. The sun will begin its return. The world will turn yet again. I am given hope. I realize that all of life is a cycle. It is simply the pattern to which we are born. The earth revolves, seasons revolve, our solar system revolves, all life including all plants and animals cycle and all have a time and a place. The universe is one big revolving circle and I am blessed to be a part of it.

The fulfillment of my life has to simply be to do my best to leave here having left something good behind. Nothing is too big or too small, it just has to be good. Just do good, give good, share good and leave good.

My grove of traditional trees from my childhood.

My grove of traditional trees from my childhood.

This years Xmas dinner of chosen family at our home is themed “Coming Home”. Last year we weren’t here for our chosen family’s traditional Christmas dinner gathering as we went to be with my mom due to my father’s passing. This year we are back to our home in San Diego. Therefore given the theme all gifts for the white elephant gift exchange are to be from small neighborhood businesses. I chose two natural open growth Nobel Fir trees from our neighborhood nursery to decorate in a style that we fifty somethings remember from the 1960s. They are complete with tinsel icicles and not a single LED light. Yup the 1960s weren’t exactly environmentally friendly. No worries though as I will recycle the trees after properly disposing of the tinsel and the incandescent lights are powered by my solar power system.

One other seasonal tradition of ours I will leave you with on this winter solstice day is Author Feidler and The Boston Pops rendition of Sleigh Ride.

It’s officially winter …Enjoy!