Issue 22 – He Said She Said

“Will you just put that down for a second?” Charlie set the serving tray down on the table, which was covered with every other item Hazel had pulled out of the china cabinet and needed to decide if she was keeping or not. So far, not one thing had been placed into any of the boxes that Catherine had labelled as ‘keep,’ ‘store,’ ‘sell,’ or ‘donate.’ Catherine had watched some sort of television program starring some overly done-up celebrity turned home organizer. Apparently that made Catherine equally as educated on such things. Charlie was doing his best to try to stay quiet. Between Hazel’s obsession with holding onto every little momento accumulated over their 60 year marriage, and Catherine’s obsession with doing things the ‘fancy dancy’ way, it was best if he just stuck to moving things around as ordered.

“Mom, you are going to have to get rid of some of these things,” Catherine looked at the cluttered table in frustration. “You can’t take all of this with you. It won’t fit in an apartment.” Hazel huffed, “Well, we don’t know that for sure now do we. Your father and I haven’t even figured out where we’re going yet. I don’t know why we have to do this until we sell the house.” Hazel continued to move knick knacks out of the cabinet and balance it precariously on the table. “If we do a little bit of decluttering now mom, it won’t be such a task come moving time. Plus, it will be a lot easier to stage the house for selling if we pack some of this stuff away.”

Hazel sighed. She knew her daughter was right. Still, the thought of getting rid of things made her sick to her stomach. Nobody appreciated china nowadays. She had Royal Doulton figurines and Wedgewood pieces that she would be lucky to get a quarter of their worth for at the antique market. She had collected them for years and Charlie had bought her a new “lady” every year for her birthday. Catherine had mentioned that she could sell some of the stuff on the computer, but she wasn’t sure exactly how. It sounded like so much work.

Charlie kept an eye on the situation. He could see Hazel getting flustered and tired, as she did when doing emotionally draining work these days. This move was not going to be easy on her. He tried to lighten the mood, “Just think of how easy everything will be once we are moved and settled into the new place Hazel. It’s a lot of work now, but it will be worth it!” He smiled gently at her, and walked over to give her a hug. Hazel leaned heavily against him almost fighting him from being released from the embrace, and Catherine couldn’t help but notice the concern her dad was showing for her mom.

“Did you and mom go for an assessment or anything to figure out what type of nursing home you need?” Catherine’s question caught Charlie completely off guard. “Pardon? We’re not going into a nursing home. We don’t need that.” Catherine set down some silverware on a chair and looked at her father. “Um, yes you do. That’s why we are selling the house. We need to get you in somewhere that you’ll be looked after.” Hazel jumped in trying to explain, “No, we just need a place like Lloyd and Marilyn’s. It’s different from a nursing home.” Catherine shook her head and crossed her arms. “I’m sure you need an assessment. You can’t make those types of decisions independently. You need a doctor or something.”

Charlie was frustrated with his daughter’s know-it-all attitude. He and Hazel had done their research. “Catherine, your mom and I don’t need a doctor telling us where we need to live. We have decided to move into a seniors apartment that has services on site for a bit of support…but only when we need it. We’re older and a little slower than we used to be, but we by no means need some place with hospital beds and nurses running the show. John said -”…

“John said?!!” Catherine was irate. “John said, John said, John said. It’s always what JOHN says. I am certain you need healthcare and nursing. You’ve had a stroke and can’t drive, and mom’s memory is going. You can’t just move into some apartment. Who is going to make sure you’re eating…and taking your medication…and not driving?” Charlie was not impressed. “For crying out loud Catherine, you’re acting like we need some sort of babysitter!” Catherine flicked her hair back and pursed her lips and muttered, “Well, maybe you do.”

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It appears that Charlie and Hazel and their daughter have some very different ideas on the type of housing they should move into. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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