This morning we are leaving to head back to Oregon for 18 days to spend the holidays with our families. As most of you know, my Dad was recently diagnosed with stage IV metastatic prostate cancer & I’ve already been back twice to help with caring for him as he undergoes treatment (read more here). My mom’s health has also been declining for the last 6 months and they now believe she may have had a mini stroke – the doctors are running more tests to try to determine what caused it and how to prevent future episodes.
It’s such a hard thing to watch your parents get older and to see them become limited in their ability to do things for themselves. I am very close with my mom & dad so getting the chance to take care of them, while emotionally taxing, has also been a tremendous blessing. When I was in the hospital with my dad in mid-October & we found out how advanced his cancer was, I asked him what he wanted the next year to look like. His response was: “For whatever time I have left, I want all of my family together.”
That was the moment when I knew we needed to leave New York.
We moved away from Portland over 12 years ago and, even though that time has been good for us in many ways, we’ve missed out on so much memory-making with my family & my kids have missed out on precious time with their grandparents. Deep in our hearts, I think we always knew we would end up back in Oregon – it’s where my husband & I were born and raised, where we met in high school and where both of our families live. We didn’t anticipate that we’d be heading back this soon and we didn’t foresee these circumstances being the driving force, but we know that we are needed…so the time is now.
We shared the news with our kids last Sunday and were truly amazed by how well they handled it (this will be the 3rd out-of-state move for my daughter). Of course, there were tears at the thought of leaving behind their friends, but they both agreed that this was the right decision for our family and they even got a little excited as we talked through some of the details (like being able to see their cousins all the time and not having to deal with the long, harsh winters).
Our plan is to have our kids finish out the school year here in NY and, shortly after their last day, we will pack up our things and begin the long cross-country drive to the West Coast. This summer is going to be a bit chaotic as we transition, so I may need to ask for extra grace with my (probably sporadic) posting during that time, but I will be sure to share bits & pieces of our journey along the way. I’m also very eager to share the beauty that is the Northwest with you in my 2020 outfit photos, so get ready for lots of new backdrops & some fun adventures!
Obviously, this will mean a lot of changes for our family – new schools for both our kids, new friends, a new church + we’ll be moving in with my parents and caring for them full-time. They live in an old farmhouse on 7 acres in the country, so squeezing all of our stuff into a much smaller space will be a bit tricky. We are going to have a huge moving sale in the spring & try to get rid of as much as we possibly can before the big move.
I know that juggling the responsibilities of my job, being a wife and mom & now taking on a new role as caretaker is going to be a significant challenge. But, as difficult as it may be, I’m confident that I will never regret setting aside my own desires & putting my parents first. They have spent a countless number of years making sacrifices for me & now it’s my turn to reciprocate. I know how blessed I am to have a close-knit family and to have a Mom & Dad who are still madly in love after 52 years. This is a gift I will never take for granted & I plan to cherish every single moment we have with them.
If any of you have been a live-in caretaker for someone, I would love to hear from you – I need all the advice I can get about what to expect, ways to set boundaries & how to maintain proper self-care. Please comment below & share your thoughts or email me directly.
Lastly, I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your continued prayers for my family, for the kind words & all the encouragement you’ve been sending my way. I’m so grateful for this wonderfully supportive community & I can’t wait to share this next phase of life with you all.