A Beautiful Green Backyard Burial

| 5/9/2012 1:16:23 PM

Part 1 The End of a Life Journey: The Big Move.

With my father's health failing we were finally able to convince him that living closer to my brother and I, we would be able to help care for him better. Moving him here from Bullhead, Arizona, became quite the family project. My two sisters (Deborah and Donna) came in from out of town to help pack him up, along with help from my husband (Mike), brother-in-law (Alex) and brother (Charlie). They emptied the house, paired his belongings down to a trailer full of his treasures, and left behind an overflowing commercial size dumpster. That was after gifting all the neighbors and giving big donations to the Salvation Army.

kims dadMy dad wanted to still have his independence, which we respected, so we found him a sweet little apartment in our small town, Del Norte, Colorado. The landlord overlooked their “One Dog Only” rule and allowed him to have both of his furry children (which I am convinced is why he still had the will to live). Elaine, the owner of the building, bent over backwards to help my father in every way she could: from paperwork, to advice, and she even made offers to drive him to appointments if we weren't available.

Downsizing my father was very timely. It's amazing how many treasures one can accumulate in a life time. The transition went fairly smooth. My father seemed to enjoy his new surroundings. It was a special time setting up his new cozy apartment with all the basics one really needs, including leaving his vehicle behind. Alex and Mike found him a wonderful second-hand electric wheel chair.

Electric Wheelchair 101

I was helping my father unpack and I got this notion, “Hey Dad, why don't you ride your new wheel chair down with me to walk the dogs and empty some trash?” “Okay,” Dad said as he climbed in the chair. I put one small dog, Baby, on his lap and grabbed a bag of trash and the leash of his second dog, Scooby. We got in the hallway and, unbeknownst to us, the chair was set on high. Dad pushed the lever forward and shot down the hall like a rocket! He was swerving from side to side, yelling obscenities all the way down the hall with what could only be described as a severe case of Tourettes. I'm running behind him with a big trash bag bouncing in the air and poor Scooby sliding, not walking, behind me. “Dad, let go of the lever!!!” My father reaches the elevator in record time, swings into the glass walled waiting area and almost catapults himself through the window. I run up behind him with my heart racing. Before I could say a word, the elevator door slides open and my Dad shoots in, hand still full throttle on the lever. He slams into the wall with the wheels still spinning. The carpet began to get sucked up into the wheels! “Hand off the lever, Dad!” Unfortunately, that was my father's introduction to the electric wheel chair and to his new neighbors. We had fun practicing with that a few days later, once we could both breathe again! Although it scared the heck out of me that night, I can't tell this story with out laughing out loud now. I know that if I had a camera that evening I would be a rich woman today!

KimAnna Cellura-Shields
6/19/2012 10:35:09 PM

Thank you, Jen, I have had a hard time getting my response to you posted, me a computers don't go way back:~} Thank you for reading and your kind words. Please read part 2 which will finish off this story, when time allows. With Love, Kim

KimAnna Cellura-Shields
6/19/2012 10:30:32 PM

Thank you all for taking the time to read this rather sensitive article. I hope that you find some of the information useful and or informative. Please note that part 2 has also gone live. http://www.motherearthnews.com/the-happy-homesteader/the-end-of-a-life-journey-part-two.aspx Jen and Mary Jo I appreciate your sweet comments. I invite you all to share your thoughts and experiences. Blessings, KimAnna

KimAnna Cellura-Shields
6/19/2012 9:55:11 PM

Thank you M.J., so appreciate all your love & support! Please read part 2 when you have a chance. With Love, Kim

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