Yesterday, I mentioned we came back ‘home’ to Seattle to help my mom. To take care of my mom. To help her transition from Independent Living in a retirement community to Assisted Living in a nursing home, on Medicaid, after a debilitating stroke in January 2019. My mother had Alzheimer’s. Her mother before her, my grandmother, died with Alzheimer’s. Yeah, I know. O.o
The last two years have been pretty bad. Especially the last year, through the pandemic and Covid restrictions. It was devastating for older people, to be completely cut off from their families and communities. Even inside the long-term care facilities, patients were isolated in their rooms.
My mother passed away peacefully at the nursing home, in Hospice care, on January 2, 2021. She died of natural causes, not Covid. I still can’t write about it.
This is all to say… well, it’s time to leave Seattle. I don’t need to be here anymore, to take care of my mom.
But part of the countdown, today, and among the long list of things that have to be done before we go, is taking care of my mom. Making sure everything is done, so that she is settled and at peace.
So today I met with an eldercare attorney, to help me resolve the remaining issues with Medicaid and her estate, such as it is. (After Medicaid, there really is no “estate” to settle.)
Decades before her death, my mother started planning and making arrangements. She wanted to be buried in the cemetery in Oceanside, CA, next to her mother and father, and her younger sister. She made all the arrangements, and paid for almost everything over time.
When she had the stroke in January 2019, I knew it was time to finalize those arrangements, and make sure everything was paid for in advance, before she went on Medicaid.
So when she died in January 2021, during the pandemic, with active Covid restrictions in Washington State and California, it was complicated. But it was all pre-arranged. Although we could not go with her, could not have any kind of funeral or service, which she did not want anyway, we got her to Oceanside. She was buried on February 3, 2021. With her family, right where she wanted to be.
One of the things I am most excited about, looking ahead to our RV Life and traveling so much, is a stop in Oceanside, CA in October. Hopefully, everyone will have the vaccine by then. Hopefully, things will be better and we’ll all be well on the way to recovery.
And I will visit my mom, celebrate her life, leave flowers for her and my grandparents and aunt. And everything will be settled and done.
Rest in Peace, Shirley.