When I first moved to Oriental, NC, Regina, one of the talented healers (one of the many unexpected perks of this small coastal town!) said to me, "I moved here in 1996 with my husband and shortly, thereafter, we split up. But, I never felt alone even though I was brand new in this little town. In a very short time I had friends that I knew would last a lifetime and now I consider this town (of about 1000 residents) my entire extended family".
I bought a house here just about 5 years ago and recently realized that I feel the exact same way. My 80 (something.... still doesn't like to divulge her exact age ;-) year old Mom lives with me. After a falling accident last December, she has needed much more care and I briefly thought of moving back North to be closer to a sister for help. The thought of leaving friends, the Ole Theatre, my book club, daily walks by the water and fishing pier at Lou Mac Park, and peacefully mild winters aside, I was ready to do the best thing for my Mom and my own needs for help and support.
But, sometime, while I was pondering the move and considering logistics a wonderful thing happened. I looked around one day and realized my 'extended family' had already filled in the gaps! A caring and oh, so giving support system had grown up around me and my Mother and come into full bloom while I wasn't even looking!
|Loren, our Newest Family Member|
I mentioned to a neighbor that I had to look into getting a ramp built for when my Mom was coming home and out of the assisted nursing rehab facility. It seemed that a word was all it took and before I knew it, a group of men from one of the local churches were making a ramp off my back deck. A nurse from another church showed up (not like churches at all -- just all community outreach groups) to get my list of needs.... "You'll need caregivers if you want to keep working at all, right? The coordinating of P/T's, O/T's, the CNAs and doctor visits along with 7 nights per week and 7 mornings per week will be more than you can or probably want to handle. I suggest getting at least two caregivers you can count on for at least 40 hours per week to start".
Bless her and the following weeks' parade of concerned community members coming by to bring food, give smart advice from first hand experience, offer names and phone numbers of companions and home caregivers with great reputations, hold Mom's hand, hold MY hand, say a prayer and offer temporary fill-in help... Wow. My learning curve was surely cut down by 95% in time and effort.
Recently at lunch with one of my Mom's fill-in caregivers, head cheerleaders, devoted exercise physiologist and message therapist! and her husband at their lovely waterfront home, the topic of Mom came up. I was moved to tears when my friend looked me point blank and said, "if anything ever happened to you we would simply move your Mom here with us, right Hon?" He nodded his head so matter-of-factly, I knew there was no question that these two angels had become my siblings.
Perhaps, it's because so many of us are middle-aged, from the North East, and we share many a common bond:
love of the outdoors, especially WATER!
wanting less crowds and more nature more months of the year,
sharing in the losses and other prices paid to leave our Northern homes and friends behind
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, little town.... (below was taken during one of the three whole weeks of winter -- brrrrr, it got all the way down to 40 degrees that night)....
And, did I mention that the boating, fishing, and sailing is as good as it gets in any part of the world?