By Dee Jaye Clark, www.TheRelationshipNavigator.com
I am going to miss Mille and Bruno; my next door neighbors of over seven years. It was always a pleasure to walk up my back stairs and see the delightful jungle garden that Mille cultivated on a daily basis on her terrace.
Millie was also known as the community detective. She could tell you which Fed-Ex delivery person dropped off a package, and the time he left. Mille could give you all of the updates on our surrounding neighbors, and the squirrels never went hungry on her watch.
Bruno became forgetful in latter 2010. He might miss snippets of a current conversation or a portion from a personal history story, but hey, at 82 he was doing well in my book just to be moving around. Mille began taking on more of a caretaker role last year. Independent trips were no longer allowed; Mille made sure she was with Bruno at all times.
Well, about two months ago Millie woke up to find that Bruno was not next to her. As she was pulling her feet to the floor, the doorbell rang. She hurriedly pulled on a robe, ran and swung open the door to see her neighbors two houses down, with her husband wrapped in a towel. “Bruno knocked on our door, thinking he was at his house. Don’t worry about getting the towel back to us.”
Millie came to the realization that more care was now necessary. So she called a week before moving to say she had to quickly make a decision and that she was so happy with the selected facility. They were moving to a wonderful senior community that even has an Alzheimer’s unit if it ever comes a time when Bruno “can’t live with me.”
I checked in last week and Millie, ever the optimist, was raving about how good the cafeteria soup was and how when I come to visit she is going to take me out in the “backyard” of the community to show off their flowers. She said Bruno has adjusted quite well, and she is more relaxed now that there is a complement of caretakers keeping an eye out for Bruno.
The terrace is dark, but I think just the other day I saw a crib being delivered. Wow, so the cycle of life begins anew.
Dee Jaye is The Relationship Navigator, here to help us with the challenges that arise in our personal relationships and in the family dynamics of caregiving. While most of her guidance is geared toward romance, she and her brother recently embarked on a caregiving path for their parents, an experience which has broadened Dee Jaye’s scope of interest with regard to “The Relationship.”