Then and Now Part IV

Note: Sorry for the long delay in returning to our story, but we’ve been extraordinarily busy this past month ~ launching our exciting new website & integrated membership database. Lots of twists, turns and tweaks, but we are thrilled with the final result.

In July, we also produced our first-ever, comprehensive consumer publication, which appears on the home page of the new website. Our summer was our busiest yet, and I am happy to return to a routine (of sorts). Next up: developing the entire 2012 NASMM Annual Conference program for release in a few weeks. Stay tuned for that info, but in the interim . . . 

I want to finish telling you about the Pearson clan because their story is a universal tale of too much stuff, obligation, guilt, frustration and more. In short, it’s the story of Senior Move Management. (Please read Parts One, Two, and Three before reading this next installment.)

We last left Bill asking, “How hard can it be?”  I bet you already know what happens next.

Bill motors down to Florida in his van that boasts 180,000 miles. He even removes the two sets of rear seats to bring back anything his Mom doesn’t want and his sibs might want to keep. Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney keep him company on the open road to FL. He imagines spending some uninterrupted quality time with his “Ma.” He looks into the rear view mirror and laughs at his own image. Good times, good times.

Rascal Flatts sings in the background, “If I had one call to make, I would dial yesterday, and warn myself . . .”

When Bill arrives, his Mom – Patricia – is in her yellow chenille robe, looking completely drained and not the least bit interested in hearing about his trip. She doesn’t seem to recall why he’s even there. Nevertheless, she swings open the front door. “Okie dokie . . .” he mumbles under his breath.

After a quick hug, Bill scans the condo to obtain a sense of what awaits. His eyes immediately laser-focus on the oak hutch filled with his Mom’s milk glass collection. Then . . . yikes! He forgot how massive the old Magnavox TV is – it’s definitely not one of those wafer-thin LCD televisions lining the walls of Walmart. The television/stereo stand overflows with DVDs, VHS tapes, and, (Oh no!) a few 8-track cassettes too. He asks, to no one in particular, “Why hasn’t ANYONE gone through all of this stuff before?”

He moves quickly from room to room, like a federal agent seeking evidence. He’s no Hazel, but this place is not very clean. And it’s packed with stuff. His jaw drops when he opens the kitchen cabinets. His Mom follows closely behind. In fact, Bill almost trips over her when he turns to speak. “Ma, Ma, we’ve got a ton of stuff to do here. Are you up for it? Why don’t you get dressed first?”

Patricia looks puzzled, and scratches her shoulder blade with a wooden spoon she yanks from the kitchen drawer. “What do you mean?” she asks. “What did you say you want me to do?”

Bill is getting nervous, and tells his Mom to sit down and finish watching Judge Judy. She peers up at him, somewhat timidly, and says, “What did you say you want me to do again?”

He gently places his hand on her shoulder. “Nothing, Ma. Forget it.”

Bill pushes open the back door and heads straight for the detached garage. It’s filled (literally!) to the rafters with mildewed boxes, paint cans, a sled, and a million other miscellaneous items. “Who brings a sled to a retirement complex?” he yells into the darkness.

Bill walks outside and squints into the Florida sun, nervously combing his sandy brown hair with his fingers. He punches Louise’s number into his cell phone. When she answers, he says quietly, “We’ve got a problem here.”

The conclusion, Part V, next time!

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