A lot of lifting and walking today. A long driveway plus narrow twist and turns to the back make for a long day. I typically start slow and go like the Energizer Bunny. But, eventually I do hit the wall. Cooler morning will help. Also, the kitchen will be a focus once I slow down on the drop box. The garbage/old food has been staged for the box. So, the effort there will be to continue to empty that kitchen and prepare it as a safe (cooking, walking, reaching). I have noticed, per her hoarding instincts, that my aunt has 7 step stools in the kitchen. Most were buried, originally used as a mini table of sorts. Then the piling continued and the small stool disappeared. But, their presence suggests the 4’11” tiger needs (needed) to reach the cupboards. That is why the typically, frequently used items will have to be readily accessible on the counters without a hint of climbing. She may never have the quad strength again to step that high, but she may not know that until it is too late. So, they will disappear to a place I can use them during the cleanup.
This begs a thought in your mind: why is a woman that age living alone? Especially given her health. Why don’t they just………..? I know. I ask the same questions. It is an unfolding mental process for her and for me. A short time ago, it was comfortable. Safe enough. I envisioned finding her passed away, in peace, in her home. But, the CHF, the fall, have pressed these questions in my mind. The what if’s loom.
I mean, a little over a year and a half ago, I found her near death, buried beneath a massive pile of stuff. Then, in April, she had no heat running in the house..conserving $. She kept warm via a heating pad. Of course, just weeks before it had over heated, caught on fire and scorched her fingers. She was hypothermic when I found her. Her heart almost quiet. I unburied her. Summoned fire/medical and kept her still. She survived that and came back strong.
So, there is sense she will also survive the knee. She is so damn tenacious. I am not saying that out of some rationalization. I just watch her. Watch her 93 y/o sister. Watched my mom to the bitter end. They are the toughest women I have met. Truly hardened by life + the obsession with stuff.
So, that aside, I will prepare the home for a safe return. It won’t be empty. Impossible at this point in life. A total cleanup would take the better part of a year (clean ups, sorting, staging for sale, sales, more sales, more sales, cleanups…on and on. This I know from my mom’s house where we still continue to move through that process…ugh!).