My Mom is My Roommate

It’s a fabulous thing that I know how to swim as my life is full up to my nostrils. When I realized my own little mommy was in trouble, the words just came tumbling out of  my mouth. She knew she could no longer live alone. It was apparent that my brothers were helping and yet not able to fulfill the needs. They were thinking assisted living was the only answer and yet totally against Mom’s wishes.

She asked what I thought she needed to do. I said, “I invite you, and your beloved cat, Carmelo Anthony, to come live with me.” She said yes.

So began a new adventure. Every day alone seemed to be dangerous for her well-being. Beyond my job and gardening and writing newspaper columns and all other commitments, I started preparing. No wonder the tossing and turning and losing sleep. There are many pieces of the intricate puzzle. With little square footage in this house, it took planning.

I needed to move my office and library from the second bedroom on the main floor of my little house to the basement apartment, a bunch of trips up and down the stairs. I love books. I can’t resist them. It’s a huge collection of cookbooks and food history and nutrition and agriculture as well as fiction and text books and plays and autobiographies and…. on and on. Carrying them stack by stack took a toll on my knee.

With the room completely empty the need for a paint job was obvious. Robin’s egg blue is the perfect paint color for a life long birder. Before that the cleaning, spackling, sanding, masking. Two coats for the ceiling, trim, walls with my brother’s help. I’d sorted the books – picture books, children’s, poetry, nature guides and very old books I have collected remained upstairs to be replaced in that room after one set of shelves returned. Furniture, curtains, lighting suited to elder eyes. Oh…. the bathroom. A shower chair and hand held shower were needed, plus a non-skid bath matt. My own showering needs moved downstairs. Clear a shelf in the bathroom cupboard. Fill the shelves in Mom’s room with not only books but toys and old photos.

How to accept and welcome Carmelo into the house with my own three beloved kitty boys needed more thinking. That’s another story.


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