Friday, October 29, 2010

A Summer of Change - Our Moving Journey Begins

The story of our decision to move goes back several months. Living next door to our daughter and son-in-law and the grandkids was a wonderful experience, but we really were getting tired of paying rent. And we were conscious of the fact that we were growing older and would want to eventually retire in a home of our own! Couple that with the fact that our daughter's children were growing older and bigger and their house would not much longer accommodate growing children.

And so my dear hubby and I had a conversation regarding the future. What did we want to do if and when our "neighbors" moved into a bigger house? Did we want to continue to rent? After all living next door to our daughter and family was the draw to live in that particular house.

At the same time I had been following a friend's blog of her journey in moving to State College and all that entailed. I read how in spring they were preparing their house for sale and they had a prospective buyer. I didn't think anymore about it. But then in May, I read a post in which she again stated she was cleaning the house to get it ready to sell. But wait - I thought they already had a buyer.

On a whim, I decided to send her an email. That little email set off a whole chain of events. She sent me an email and invited us to come and see the house, so we did. We immediately fell in love with the location and the house itself. But we weren't ready to make a decision. Elvin's mother was rapidly declining in health and we needed to make some decisions regarding her care. So we told our friends to go ahead and put the house on the market if that is what they were ready to do. In the meantime, we would pray about it. But our friends had been praying too and they called us with the offer to wait a couple weeks to give us some time. Wow! We could both feel the Lord at work in our decisions. God was already directing our steps and as we continued to pray, we knew this was the house for us! And so our "journey" to a new home began.
Here is a view of our house at this beautiful time of the year!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Summer of Change - Saying Good-bye

It is nearly the end of October and as I sit back and think about the incredible turn of events that have surrounded us throughout the last several months, I cannot but marvel at how God has led us step by step. As the school year ended, I was looking forward to finishing the school year and relaxing a bit over the summer. We were planning a week's vacation with my sister and her husband in mid-July. I was also looking forward to spending a month long break from the routine of work. Elvin's mom was continuing her battle with declining health. From time to time we would discuss what to do when she was no longer able to live on her own. Her one desire was to stay in her own home and we wanted to honor her wish if we could. As a family we celebrated her 86th birthday with a Memorial Day picnic at her house.

Less than a week later, we realized that the time had come that she could not continue to be on her own, so with the help of the Hospice team, we decided to hire someone to provide 24 hour care and by mid June had a lovely young lady staying with her and providing minimal care for her. At the same time we were contemplating the purchase of a house and Elvin had been told that he had a heart murmur that needed some attention (more about both to come).

As June came closer and closer to an end, we questioned whether or not we should cancel our vacation plans or what we should do. Mom was declining; she was no longer able to get around without her walker and finally unable to get up on her own. By the end of June she was bedfast.

In spite of her discomfort, she was delighted to have us visit. We spent lots of time with her that month. The last week of her life was spent in bed and on Friday afternoon, July 2, we were by her bedside as she took her final breaths and entered heaven. A change had come, it was time to say our final good-byes to a wonderful mother and grandmother!