Issue 40 – A New Year

“Did you have a good Christmas John?” John’s coworker, David, gave a cheerful greeting as John made his way past the maze of cubicles to his office. “It was fabulous David…we had a really wonderful time.” John set his briefcase down beside his desk and invited David in to take a seat. There was a lot of catching up to do. “Say, your mom wasn’t doing too well the last time we spoke. How is she making out?” David’s concern was sincere and John was appreciative of the actual conversation, which was such a contrast to the usual chitchat he experienced. “Mom’s doing much better. We were worried there for a bit, but she really bounced back…we even got her out of the hospital on a day pass to celebrate Christmas Day with us at the old house.” David smiled, “So the whole family flew out?” James nodded, “Yep! My brother and his family flew out and my sister that lives in the area with her family stayed at the house too…it was a little crowded but we made it work.” They both shared a bit of a chuckle. “I couldn’t imagine sharing a house for the holidays with all my siblings. That really says something special about your family.”

John thought about that for a moment. David was right. How many families could spend Christmas under one roof together, especially when dealing with the stress of a hospitalized parent and the challenges faced with moving their folks to a seniors community? And yet, they had all managed and rather well, he could add. It was the first Christmas in a long time where everyone was together. James had gone out back and cut down a tree, and the kids had been creative in making homemade ornaments since his mom’s decorations were packed away in boxes in the storage unit. They had all taken turns helping with the meals, and even though there were moments where people were literally tripping over one another, there had been no bickering or tension. John’s favourite moment was seeing the look of contentment on his mom’s face, having all her kids and grandkids together. His dad’s pat on the back and wink was enough to know they had all done a good job.

“So what happens next then? Is your mom out of the hospital?” Lost in his own warm memories, John had just about forgotten David was still in the room. “Oh, um…yes, just about. They were discharging her today or tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me…I need to call Catherine later and see what’s up.” John made a quick note and posted it beside his computer so he wouldn’t forget. It was only six o’clock in the morning back in Alberta, and he was doubtful Catherine was up yet. “Mom and dad are still moving to the new place like they had planned, and mom is getting some extra support through homecare. I think they even arranged some respite for dad.” “That’s good news,” David said reassuringly. “I’m happy everything worked out. Welcome back! Now, we need to get the agenda put together for the meeting later today and I need you to review that report I sent you back before the break.” John sighed. “I’ll get right on it. Happy New Year Dave!”

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We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday with those that matter most to you. It is also good to hear that Charlie & Hazel will be able to move into their new seniors living community as planned. What do you think should happen next? We welcome your ideas and would be happy to receive advice on issues you’d like to see addressed. The Charlie & Hazel journey is meant to inform the public about the realities of seniors living, and as our characters get ready to embark on the next phase of their lives, your real life experiences could help our readers to better understand things from the senior’s, family, housing provider, home care, or even general public perspective. Feel free to submit your ideas below, or email us at ascha@ascha.com.

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