by Joy Loverde
The plan is for Bill to leave Florida on a Friday morning and arrive in Chicago on Saturday afternoon. I would be there to greet Bill and get him settled into Sunrise Assisted Living. Mom will fly to Chicago on Sunday and then meet up with Bill after she drops off her luggage. Mom’s dream to move back to Chicago to be near family will finally take place next week.
Transport day is here. The medical transfer team carefully loads Bill into the motor coach, and Mom is relieved when Daryl at Signature Healthcare calls and informs her that Bill is on his way. We all breathe a sigh of relief.
Several hours after Bill is on the road, I’m the first person he calls (I’m thrilled). He says the motor coach is fantastic. From his hospital bed he is able to look out the front window with the driver. He sounds upbeat and tells me he’s having a wonderful experience. He says that Nancy the nurse is kind and funny. I’m happy to hear all is going well. I call Mom immediately and tell her the good news and I can hear in her voice that she is greatly relieved.
The phone rings several hours later. This time the call is from Nancy, the nurse who is taking care of Bill. She tells me Bill is doing great and having a ball. Then she drops the bomb. Unfortunately the motor coach has broken down and they are parked on the side of the road. Since it’s 8 pm on a Friday night, the local auto parts shop is closed for the evening and they’ll have to wait until morning to buy a fan belt.
Nancy tells me the motor coach has never malfunctioned in the history of their medical transport business. I laugh out loud. What else can go wrong with this long-distance move?
Bill arrived safely in Chicago 10 hours later than planned. For the first time in twenty years, Mom and Bill are back home.
This blog about moving a parent from long-distance has now come to an end. Dear readers, I want to thank you for accompanying me on this incredible eldercare journey. Many lessons were learned in the process and I will summarize highlights in my next blog.
P.S. Two months after Bill arrived in Chicago he died peacefully.