M. L. E. Brown
In the past ten months, my husband, his sister, and I have moved my husband’s parents – first one, and then the other – into different wings of the same managed aged-care facility. We then had to sell their Northland home, built by my in-laws and only reluctantly abandoned after fifty-five years of married life. When settlement finally eventuated, we had a few frantic days to travel to Northland and clear out the house. All this has occurred during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. My husband’s job at Auckland Airport dictated strictly no close contact with either his father or his sister (as she was helping their father move into the retirement village). Auckland’s second lock-down was announced three days into the final push, my husband was recalled to work, and the whole thing ended in a terrific rush.
Having moved my own mother out of her home just before she died eighteen years ago, I know this is never an easy process for any family. Then, however, I didn’t have to wear PPE and masks, stay in motels, and refrain from hugging my parent when she was most distressed. I didn’t move my mother with any notion of not being allowed to visit her again, or aware that I’d be expressly excluded from attending her funeral. These were all realities my husband faced, and faces, with regard to both his parents in these uncertain times. Covid-19 has certainly added some unkind twists to all of our everyday situations.