Well, my friends...I'm praying that we're in the home stretch. Hank and I are moving slowly this morning but I'm going to get dressed and go to work in a little bit. Tomorrow I'll go back to mother's house to try to clean out the refrigerator and pantry and then back next week during spring break to clean out some more. Thankfully we don't have to sell the house immediately.
Saturday is a blur...we got in and out as fast as we could to move the furniture. My aunt Mary, cousin Nancy, Lorelai, and a neighbor and his son helped on the house end. Hank and I hit the road for The Oaks where another set of friends met us to unload. We spent the rest of the day hanging pictures, making beds, setting up the bathrooms and running back and forth to the store for all of the things we forgot.
Sunday morning...well...Mother called before we could leave here to tell us not to come. She called Hank again twice on his cell phone on the way to say that she wasn't going. She got angry that my cousin John was coming. When we arrived Ann was trying to reason with her, but Ned was all dressed in his khaki pants and Tar Heels shirt ready to roll. He was one excited dude.
The first words mother uttered when I walked in was, "Don't let HER talk to me...tell her NOT to talk to me." Then she saw John, shaped up and sat down to drink a cup of coffee. While he distracted her, Hank and I took the rest of her clothes and so forth right out the front door. Ann was our saving grace once again...she kept whispering come on...you can do this. Mother would say NO I CAN'T...and Ann would say, oh yes you can...you can do this...you know it's the right thing to do.
Around 11:00, mother suddenly picked up her purse and off we went. Ned rode in the truck with Hank, and my intention was that mother would ride in my car with John and me. Still pretending that I wasn't there, she got right in Ann's car for the hour long trip. Is it horrible and or cowardly of me to say that I was relieved?? Well, I WAS RELIEVED! Being invisible isn't the worst thing in the world.
Thankfully, when we arrived at The Oaks, she was pleased with how we'd arranged her rooms. We ate a delicious lunch in the dining room...southern Sunday dinner at its best...fried or baked chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, rice and gravy, green beans, fruit salad, a full salad bar, sweet tea and assorted desserts. Lots of people came over to speak and welcome her. Right after lunch, Aunt Mary and Nancy arrived and shortly thereafter, John's wife and kids. It was a regular family reunion and mother ate it up. She took everybody on a tour of her rooms and even sat down at the piano in the sitting area outside of her door and played a chorus or two of What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
At 3:00 we walked over to show everybody Ned's house and room. He played the part of king of the castle beautifully... SO proud and excited. He is the first resident to move in, which is going to put him in the favorable position of big man on campus when the others finally arrive.
About 3:15, my aunt walked over to me and said, "Your mother wants to know why you didn't tell her that they were moving in today..."
I swear I wanted to go BANG MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL. That desire was quickly overcome by an overwhelming desire to sit on the floor and laugh hysterically until the men in little white coats arrived to escort me to my padded room. I didn't do either...just smiled a weary little smile and rolled my eyes.
Hank took mother back to her rooms and Ned changed into his comfortable clothes and settled right in. He went over and ate supper with mother and as he started back across the street for the evening...walked over, gave her a little hug, shook her hand and said..."Good Night Jeanette...see you tomorrow."
We all about fell in the floor laughing. He's never called her by her first name in his entire life. We reckon this was his way of saying...OK...I'm a man now...got my own house...larking out on my own. It was PRICELESS! Ned is going to BLOSSOM and I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself.
Having said all of this...I'm exhausted...both mentally and physically. As we drove in the yard last night Hank mentioned that he hadn't been so weary since his daddy passed away a few years ago. Thank heavens for the best boss in the world...he hasn't made me feel guilty one time for being out of the office and we aren't done yet...lots of little ends to tie up.
Mother made it thorough the night...no phone calls. I checked in with the nurse awhile ago and she tells me that mother is up and moving around. Ned will go over for a visit later this morning and probably again this afternoon. We feel like it's better for him to go to her rather than the other way around. We don't want her to get into the habit of trying to control what goes on at his house...and believe me, she would try if she had the chance.
THANK YOU MY FRIENDS...both the people I see on a regular basis and my friends out in blogland. We couldn't have made it through this with even a shred of sanity left without your prayers, kind words of encouragement, and actual help.
I need to get dressed and go to the office for awhile. But first...here are a few photos of Ned's finished room for your enjoyment. Various friends and family members in the photos also...I don't know what happened to my captions. XOXO