The heavy rains and dreariness make this a less than auspicious day for a move. I open the curtains and look at my neighbor's house, knowing this is the last night she will spend in the much-loved home that has sheltered and comforted her family for over fifty years.
She doesn't want to leave. Her hope was to live out her life in her secure surroundings, but her memory problems have necessitated a move to an apartment closer to her children, with the necessary assistance a person with early dementia requires.
The day is a sad one for her family, her friends and her neighbors. Her son said this will be the first Thanksgiving he will not celebrate in this house. Under the best of circumstances, downsizing is an emotional chore -- choosing what to take, what to pass on, and what to sell.
Several neighbors gathered on Monday evening to say good-bye to her over coffee and carrot cake. The evening was bittersweet; our neighborhood is small -- twelve old houses on a dead-end street. The majority of families that move in here stay for a lifetime. We shared reminiscences and laughter, and then tears as we hugged Marge and wished her well in her new home.
The U-Haul is parked in the driveway on this bleak evening, and her children and grandchildren are filling it with the things that will go with her. My wish for her is sunshine tomorrow morning as she leaves this house for the last time -- and for pleasure in this new chapter of her life. She will be greatly missed here in our little corner of the world.