As the door closed for takeoff on the 7am flight from Washington DC to San Francisco last Wednesday, I felt an almost instantaneous letdown. The stress of moving two households, mine and my mother’s, while helping her adjust to the idea of a new living arrangement after almost 55 years in our family home, has left me depleted.
When I arrived at my California destination last week feeling mentally and physically exhausted, I looked out the window of the home where I’m staying and saw the white roses blooming in the backyard. The mountains were outlined against the bright blue sky and I sensed this was the balm I needed. What a welcome respite during my continuing transition from one coast to the other.
I know how lucky I am to have the wherewithal to travel back and forth. I will leave again next month to help my mom prepare to move into her “710 condo,” as we call her new independent living facility. We’ve created a Pinterest account to look at the rooms and furniture that we both love. It helps us stay focused on creating a new and, what I hope will be, enjoyable life for her. Knowing that I will continue to travel back and forth to see my family and friends sustains me through these changes.
There are so many emotions associated with a move like this: trepidation at watching a parent move to another stage of life; melancholy at saying goodbye to a home and neighborhood that I’ve known since I was in the second grade; and sadness leaving a city and friends that I have loved for over 35 years.
But as I contemplate the future, I am reminded of a quote that always excites me when I remember it: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver