My grandparents are getting up there in age. Grandpa's 87 and Grandma's 83. It seems like yesterday my brother and I were spending weeks with them in the summer going fishing and swimming while my parents got a break from parenting. Then they retired and moved down to Florida and we would get to visit them for a couple weeks in the spring and the fall when they drove their RV up to the farm on their way to far flung places. Finally they decided they weren't up for that anymore and sold their RV so in order to see them, we've been making annual pilgrimages down to Florida where we have met them along the panhandle coast for one week a year. However the last two years, they have been last minute no shows due to health issues so it has been awhile since my last visit with them.
We've been politely suggesting to them that perhaps it is time to think about moving back to Iowa so they can be close to family to help them out. I think my Grandma is open to it but thus far Grandpa has just refused. I can't blame him really because for the last couple decades, Florida has been their home and they had friends there. However, those friends have mostly passed away and Grandpa is getting closer to the point where Grandma won't be able to take care of him. Still, Grandpa has not been willing to discuss moving yet and Grandma, who grew up in a different era, is reluctant to put her foot down.
At least until recently. They have requested information on some retirement communities in the town where I live which is really the closest available to my mom, their daughter. They are looking for someplace where they can live independently in an apartment and then transition to assisted living, a nursing home and then the final transition to the next life. Fortunately, we have two such places here in town and I went to check them out and get information on both.
I'm pretty certain that 'they' actually means just Grandma and that Grandpa has no idea yet that she is even looking into such places. I've been imagining Grandma sticking a brochure into the book Grandpa is reading just like Ralphie slipped the ad for a Red Rider BB-gun into one of his mom's magazines in the movie A Christmas Story. Although she would never do such a thing, she should wop Grandpa up side the head with the brochures and tell him to choose or she is going to choose for him. It would be really nice to be able to stop by in the evenings to visit with my grandparents instead of the two and a half years it has been since the last few days I spent with them. Although my wife might disagree, I didn't inherit my Grandfather's or mother's stubbornness gene and I'm not going to hold my breath just yet.