Well, it’s been one year since my mom moved to Pennsylvania to live near us. Have I ever told you kids how it came to be? No? Well, I’ve always meant to, so grab a cup of tea and settle in….
My mom had been living in a senior apartment building in the Chicago suburbs, in the same town where my sister lived. My family and I would come in 3 or 4 times a year for visits, but my sister was Mom’s primary lifeline when she needed errands run or a ride to the doctor. She was great with Chiquita, but she was also a busy single working professional. She averaged about 1-2 visits a week, mostly on weekends. Then she got a promotion, which involved frequent business trips to Atlanta, thereby making her even busier. Eventually, she was offered a full-time position in Atlanta, and after serious consideration, decided she’d go for it.
But what about Mom?
I knew it would be a pretty drastic change for all of us, but after some serious discussion with Mr. Hoagie, my mom, and my sister, it was agreed that moving Chiquita to PA would be the best option. The timing worked out well; for a while, my husband was considering a job change, but he’d just gotten a transfer to a new position that he liked, so that was settled.
There was a beautiful senior housing community that had just been built as we moved into town seven years ago, and we’d always had our eye on it. We had even visited a couple years before. It featured independent senior apartments and assisted living (plus and Alzheimer’s unit) all in the same building, with plans to expand into villas (townhouses for seniors). Twenty meals a month were included in the rent. I pictured happy Sunday dinners and folding Mom into the kids’ activities. It’d be great, right?
The only hiccup was that Mr. Hoagie and Chiquita were…well, not best buddies. I could handle it, though…I’d see Mom during the day when he was at work.
To make a long story short(er), arrangements were made, housing was procured, movers were hired, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2007, we piled the four of us plus Mom into the minivan, and headed for Pittsburgh.