Sunday, 29 November 2015

the familiar road



The 100km drive from Launceston to Devonport has become a familiar one the last six months. It has become a weekly journey, sometimes more than once. Friday will mark a turning point, the last time I will visit my father in his own home. Friday is moving day. A room has become available at The Manor (an Aged Care Home here in Launceston where my father was on the waiting list) and he has accepted. With resignation and sadness he has made his decision, choosing to embrace the inevitable before he has no choice at all. It was with sudden realisation that my father remembered coming to this country almost 60 years ago with one suitcase and to him it feels that he will leave his home on Friday with one suitcase. He wonders about the meaning of the years in between, the accumulation of possessions, what he thought was important and what really matters. He started with nothing and it feels to him that it is ending with nothing, a very difficult 'truth' to swallow.

Of course there is family and he will take literally more than one suitcase of possessions to his new 'room' and he still has money, although it is now all tied up in a deposit managed by The Manor that pays for his care. But those are not the things that he is thinking about. He is feeling, not thinking, and he is feeling the loss all that he spent his life working for. All of his life compacted to one room and 'all' of his money no longer in his name or his account, his unit to be sold and the proceeds to complete the deposit he has made.

It is going to be a rocky week and a rocky month, a roller coaster of a ride with grief and loss and regret. Each of my sisters and I are impacted by his pain and the journey ahead feels long and sad.

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