Never seeing home again

Imagine that you spend your whole life in one city and nearly half of it in one apartment. You hope to be able to die in this apartment. One day, an emergency causes you to have to leave your apartment. You realize you may not be able to return to your apartment soon. You may not even be able to live there again. But all your stuff, a lifetime of stuff, is there, and you imagine you’ll have a chance to go through it. But then, with little warning, you’re shuttled away from where you’ve spent your entire life and told you’re never going to see your apartment again.

As I began to write about this scenario, I realized it sounds an awful lot like I’m talking about someone in Southern California whose home has been lost to a fire.

Actually, I’m talking about my 86-year-old grandmother. With a variety of debilitating health problems, she’s been in and out of rehab centers and hospitals for the past four to six weeks. This follows a period of two years of somehow surviving mostly on her own following the passing of my grandfather. She will learn tomorrow morning that she’s neither going back to her apartment in Brooklyn nor a nearby nursing home. Instead, she’ll be brought to a nursing home in Central Jersey, where my weary mother can better watch out for her. It’s a great facility. My paternal grandmother spent several years there until she passed away 16 years ago. My mother tells me that my grandmother makes friendly quickly, and that she’ll like it. In truth, it is absolutely terrific news that there’s space in this facility for my grandmother.

But tomorrow, she’s going to face the reality that she’s never, ever again going to step foot in her home of 40 years. She has lived for 86 years in Brooklyn. Unbeknownst to her, today is her final full day there. She’s going to die in New Jersey.

I don’t really have a point. And I’m surprised that I’m posting this to Toastiest. This is more the type of writing I’d do for a very limited audience, in the old Livejournal account. I still don’t have an intelligent response to the question, “What do you blog about?” It’s an exaggeration to say “everything”, and it’s obnoxious to say “whatever I feel like blogging about”. It would be false modesty claim to answer “nothing important”. It would be arrogant, though, to claim that anything I write about IS important. I blog because…I’m creating connections with other people, even if they are mostly anonymous, superficial connections. No one wants to live in a vacuum.

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