Lesson Learned: While she greeted me warmly when she met me at her door, I could still sense apprehension, reservations and misgivings. Kathy had not entirely accepted the notion that moving from her neat and meticulously decorated apartment overlooking Rittenhouse Square into a retirement community was the right thing to do. She reminded me repeatedly that it was all her daughter’s doing and that she was not in favor of the move. How could she possibly be happy in a cramped one bedroom apartment without her valued possessions that she and her late husband had collected during their many trips abroad?
As we discussed her upcoming move, her emotions vacillated from annoyance to acceptance to irritation until she meekly admitted that it may not be such a bad idea after all considering that she would be celebrating her 90th birthday in a few weeks. Kathy’s vitality, mobility and joie de vivre belied a person who would soon celebrate nine decades of life.
Finally, the confession came. “Things happen”, she said matter-of-factly. At the same time, she unknowingly shrugged her shoulders as if to say that there are times that you can’t do anything except let things run their course. For the briefest of moments she wasn’t melancholic. Instead she seemed resigned to making the best out of a situation that would bring considerable change to her life and peace of mind to her daughter’s. Something told me that she had been down this path before and when “things happened”, she adjusted and acclimated to the new situation. I have a strong sense that Kathy will do exactly the same thing when she settles into her new home. She will likely shrug this off, embrace her new lifestyle and soldier on!