The Only Constant in Life…

bigstock-Change-Green-Road-Sign-Over-Cl-8148542[1]I’m sure you know the ending to this blog’s title, and you probably also know how true it is. Change is coming for me and my family. My 83-year-old mother had cataract surgery last week and is staying with us until the eye drops are finished. Given that she also has dementia, the very notion of expecting her to put three sets of drops in her eyes in the morning and at bedtime, and two more drops at lunch and supper, would for never have happened. Thus, her visit.

After nearly four stressful years of watching her slowly deteriorate and six months on a waiting list, she will be moving into assisted living next month. The problem is, we haven’t told her. The surgery was a bit traumatic for her, since she didn’t think she needed it in the first place, and the Ativan given at the hospital knocked her off her feet, literally. Having lived on her own for 40+ years, the idea of sharing meals in a communal dining room bothers my mother immensely, even though she’ll have her own little kitchen.

Still, the move needs to happen for her own safety and for the family’s peace of mind (and no, she doesn’t want strangers coming into her home to assist her). We found a wonderful place that offers full memory support, closer to where I live. This should be a win-win, but have you ever heard of an aging parent who says, “Oh, boy! Assisted living? Sign me up!” For many of us, quite the opposite is true.

Once she’s there, my sister and I will go through the arduous task of sorting through what she won’t be taking with her, recycling and reselling what we can before selling her condo.

I’m therefore leaving my day job (a part-time secretarial position), whether permanently or temporarily is unknown. Either way, it looks like I’m heading toward semi-retirement, which is actually fine with me, as it could mean more writing time. I’ll also continue my job as a facilitator for the writing program through Port Moody Parks & Recreation, which I really enjoy.

I’m not looking forward to the talk with my boss at the end of this week, or the inevitable talk that I and my sister must soon have with our mother. Although I don’t like letting people down, the coming changes don’t frighten me. In fact, I welcome them. The amount of work, physical and emotional, is daunting, but I’ve been preparing myself for a while.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep blogging, and reading, and writing, because I love doing those things. I haven’t spent as much time as I‘d like writing or editing lately, but I do a little bit every day. I’m blessed to have something I can feel passionate about, and it keeps me from becoming too morbid about real life.

It’s likely there will be a new routine to adjust to in the fall, and that a lot of good will come from the upheaval this summer. Old chapters are about to close, but honestly, I look forward to starting new ones. In life, as in writing, I always want to know what will happen next.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

11 thoughts on “The Only Constant in Life…”

  1. Once the decisions are made life gets easier. The telling will be the hardest part. I also had a mother with dementia and when I moved to BC with my daughter, my sister and I decided it was time for her to move into a different living situation. She lived in her own home in a small town two hours from both of us, was wandering, and succumbing to malnutrition from living on chips and chocolate bars. But I’ll never forget how guilty I felt—especially when she looked into my eyes and said, “Wendy, don’t leave me here.” I had to walk away and it broke my heart. Be sure that you have some support around this, counsellor or friend; perhaps someone other than family so you can be honest and care for yourself. Life slips by in stages and each has its own challenges and blessings. I am glad you have your passions to feed and sustain you.

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  2. We went through this with my mom a few years ago. She is now settled well into a nursing home, the final move. She ended up loving assisted living once she got settled. Sorting out the condo was a lot of work but also rewarding. Enjoy your new changes. My dad always said a change was as good as a rest!

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    1. Thank you, Darlene. I very much look forward to the time when Mom is settled and the condo sold and a new routine developed. I’m hope this will all happen by the end of this year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karen. Yes, you’re right, there is a great deal of thinking that’s gotten us to this point and many more decisions over the next three months. But I’ll get there.


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