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trying to adapt to change


Does anyone really enjoy change? I suppose it varies by person, but I think most people are a bit wary of change. I think I have documented pretty well that I do not like change. I prefer consistency but realize that's not always possible.

Recently my sister announced that her property taxes went up $200 per month, which seems crazy to me. How could the mortgage company be that far off on the escrow estimates, but I do believe she's telling the truth. Anyway, she lives closest to my parents and she has taken on the role of caregiver. She goes over there every day after work, goes out with my mom on the weekends, etc. (Quick primer: my dad is 80 and in so-so health. He is the sole caregiver to my 80-year-old mother who has moderate Alzheimer's, which is progressing at a steady clip.)

Well, she put her condo up for sale and is looking for a job out in Arizona (we live in metro Detroit). I had quite a few initial thoughts. Her crazy ex-husband lives in Arizona with his new wife. Her 22-year-old son lives there as well.

Yes, I think it's normal for her to want to be near her son, even though she had no problem living 2,000 miles away from him for the last two years. And why would you want to be in the same state as your psychotic ex-husband who is the sole reason you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon (and a hand-held pistol)?

Without writing a novel, I should explain that Kate is a loner. Always has been, probably always will be. She does not really extend herself, but will take all the help you offer. Kim (another sister) refers to her (lovingly) as a taker. This sounds weird, but she doesn't really say that in terms of judgment, it's more of a fact.

For roughly seven of the last ten years, Kate and her son lived with my parents while my parents put Kate through college (kind of during and after the divorce which took place in North Carolina). Now that Kate has her degree she found a job that is not really delivering in the way of a promotion. They have been stringing her along for the last two years or so and then her mortgage went up. So it's reasonable that she wants to find a new job and cut her losses.

While I understand it is not her job to be my parent's caretaker, she kind of assumed the role and I thought she felt this was a way for her to repay them in kind. This is where the "change" part comes in.

I had thought Kate would live in that condo for the rest of her life and that she would be the constant, comfortable presence til the end of my parents' lives. It's not like this was a conscious thought, I guess I was forced to look at it critically when Kate announced her plans to move away. It's not like Kate is their only child; there's me, Claire, Jack and Caroline. Kim lives in Virginia.

Jack has debilitating MS and his wife is his sole caretaker. So they can't help out. Claire is single and lives about 35 miles away. She does take my mom to Bingo every Wednesday so my dad gets a break. I go every Thursday with my kids to take my mom out to lunch and visit. Caroline is in her own world and takes care of her mother-in-law.

I know there is not one person out there who wants to live in a nursing home. But I think that might be where my parents are headed. It's just hard to believe because they have been so independent and their express wish is to die in their own home.

I guess this is just life smacking me in the face again. Stuff like this happens every day and once the change is in place most people adapt. It's just that I don't like change.

I suppose this adapting thing is a "growth area" for me.


2007-05-20 at 8:23 a.m.

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