Monday, October 29, 2007
And in other family news . . .
My father called me Friday morning and told me that he wants to move to Reno. He hasn't been happy in Philadelphia, and he really enjoyed his visit out here this summer, and this way, my sister and I will each be responsible for one parent, rather than my sister being responsible for both.
I'm happy, but also a little nervous. There's a lot of legwork to do: Dad's currently in Section 8 HUD housing, so I've printed out various lists of similar facilities here. Friday was Nevada Day, a state holiday, so I couldn't reach anyone at lots of offices, but I did get an application for one apartment building for him. There's a very nice low-income senior apartment complex a mile from here, but they're not a Section 8 building. He'd need a Section 8 voucher to be able to afford that place, and someone told me on the phone that if you're currently living in a Section 8 building (where the entire facility is subsidized), you can't get a Section 8 voucher (where the individual tenant is subsidized). That makes sense, but I need to find out if it still applies if someone's moving across the country.
Fortunately, a friend of ours is in charge of Section 8 for Nevada, so I have a call in to him. I also left a message for the social worker at the VA, where Dad will be receiving his medical care, to see if they have any leads on housing. I'm going to call HUD later today.
This is all made more complicated by the fact that Dad's longtime friend Fran, who currently lives in Illinois, wants to move here too. They want separate apartments in the same building.
Dad's going to send me a power of attorney. In the meantime, I have large documents -- housing applications, HUD lists, information about the Reno transit system for disabled passengers -- to photocopy and send to both Dad and Fran. At some point, I'm going to have to drive around and check out apartments to see if I think he'll like them.
And of course, there's emotional baggage that comes with all of this. My sister understands the logic behind the move, but is still feeling hurt and rejected (very understandably, since she and her husband worked so hard to get Dad to Philly). My father's feeling emotional about leaving my sister. At one point yesterday, they were both in tears. And I, the baby in the family and the one who's always been taken care of, am anxious about proving that I handle all this as competently as my sister has, that I can step up to the plate and be a real grown-up.
Yesterday, I mentioned that anxiety to a friend on the phone who let loose gales of laughter. "Oh, you silly! Of course you can!" And intellectually, I know I can, but I'm still anxious.
Gary and I are also hoping, given Dad's age and frail physical condition, that he'll actually be up to another move, and that once he gets to Reno, he'll have some time here to enjoy it.
Anyway, this bombshell on top of Scott's death made for quite the draining weekend.