— Note from Julie: this is a guest post by my mensch of a dad —
For several years my wife’s family has been dealing with the living capabilities of my father- and mother-in-law, Howie and Liz, as they aged gracefully. To watch one’s parents reach their limits of doing for themselves and to try respect and maintain their independence and show them dignity they deserve is a road that pulls at the heart strings to the core of your very being.
You can see the limits of their life gradually being eroded and you want to preserve the home they spent years building and shaping, with the love and trials they faced to overcome to make it a home. That home was a place of security for Howie and Liz’s family; it gave us what we needed in order to endure our day-to-day trials: love, hope, strength, and happiness.
Howie and Liz are from the group we now affectionately refer to as the Greatest Generation. A label well earned, in my opinion, when you consider all that they faced: The Great Depression, World War II, CCC camps, the changing world of everyday life. With all this, they still had the courage to start a family, smile, and look toward tomorrow as another gift from above, and to give us a lot that we take for granted today.
When I met my wife, Ginger (hence the title), and was introduced to the Adams Family, I felt a sense of family and inclusion that one could only hope for from their In-Laws. Howie and Liz made it easy for me to fit in, as if I was family. The house holds many memories of family gatherings, Howie’s workshop, the big garden, Christmas, Thanksgiving (with picture-taking of the turkey), birthdays, the tree swing, the games (ship-captain-crew, hi-low-jack and the game, Ed’s game), and let’s not forget the sledding hill that provided fun for several generations. It’s all wrapped up in the fondness we grew to love and know from 1241. I hope the memories of the home are as wonderful for others in the family, and the good times are the focus of those memories.
Howie and Liz started this home from the edge of a farm, built the basement and lived in that with their young family to start with, and finished the upper house as they looked forward to life. I see it all as a legacy that I for one will always and proudly refer to as the Adams Home.
I guess my ramblings have reached the reason I felt a need to write this. The family is in the process of moving their loving mother to a senior apartment and getting the house ready for sale. Liz is still a caring, capable, mindful, wonderful soul, but the home was getting to be too much for her to take care of and to navigate. Our beloved Howie had gone to the great fishing waters of heaven a few years back, and Liz has been living in the Adams Home alone for several years now. She is ready for a new stage in her frail, beautiful life.
We all knew this moment would come, but still, the moving and selling the house brings the closing of another chapter in our lives and is a bittersweet event.
Thanks for the memories 1241.
With all my love and respect to the Adams Family