Friday, July 23, 2010

Mary and Allon After Six Months in LA - A Postscript to the Previous Blog

Why LA?

On May 15, 2001, Mary had a brain aneurysm incident. She was in the hospital for a month and rehab for another three weeks. She had a remarkable recovery- cooking, reading, driving and leading a normal life. About three years ago, she realized that she could no longer drive. Two years ago, she could no longer cook. Her ability to function normally began to disappear. By the middle of last year, we realized that we could not anticipate improvement.

We had to move. Our son, Abe, lives in Napa. We wanted to be somewhere near him, but not on his doorstep.Through friends in LA, we heard of Hollenbeck Palms. In September 2009, we came to check it out and decided to move.

Hacienda Hollenbeck

We moved into Hollenbeck Palms on January 15, 2010. "Hacienda Hollenbeck" is Mary's appellation. Our brand new 1,000 square foot apartment in Magnolia Court had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and full kitchen. It was spacious and attractive.

Without going into detail, the transition was a rough road. Mary had previously been diagnosed as having dementia. The disorientation of the move, attempting to accommodate oneself to a new environment and a new city were too much for her. At this point, our lives were truncated. Mary moved into Hensel Hall, the skilled nursing section, and I remained in Magnolia Court in our apartment. We either have lunch or dinner together every day and we go on junkets in the car several times a week.

Our First Seder in LA

Never wanting to be anything but a Jew, I was pleased to learn that having a Passover seder was a recent tradition established by head nurse Camille Goldsmith. It was a very nice affair that made both of us feel more at home here.

Higashi Hongamji Bhuddist Temple Obon Festival

Mary and I went to this event with two Japanese American women who live at Hollenbeck Palms. The festival took place in the temple parking lot in Little Tokyo. We spent five hours in blistering sun, but it was great. While there, I said to Mary, "I am beginning to like LA." She concurred.

The two most outstanding events for us were Taiko drummers and Sumo wrestlers.

Above: Taiko drummers performing in Central Park. Although not the same group that we saw, the performance was similar.

Above: Sumo wrestlers. We saw an informal version of this in the church parking lot.

Grafton, Vernont 1972

After Fifty-one Years of Sleeping in the Same Bed Together, What is Like to Sleep Alone?

Not much fun!

Hollenbeck Palms, 2010

What's Next?

LA is not where either one of us thought that we might live. However, we're here and we're finding out that it is a pretty good place to spend the waning years of our lives.

For our 25th annersary book, my Yale class did a survey asking what people planned to do on retirement. The majority had dreams of yachts, tennis courts and golf courses. There was one person who answered that "he never intended to retire." ME.

Hollenbeck and LA meet our needs. We get full support from Hollenbeck. Mary is in good hands and I am able to explore the potentials of a professional life. Being the new kid in town, is not easy because you know nothing of history, geography and the parameters of behavior. You are lacking a network of contacts that fuel a professional life. I have lived in Cambridge, Cincinnati, Cleveland, London, Manilla, New Haven, New York, and San Francisco. So, I have had some experience in adapting to urban environments. There are always some parallels as well as many differences.

Coffee Shop, Union Square, New York, 2005

And What About New York?

A friend who has lent us her apartment at Park and 90th is planning to go to Japan in November and has suggested that her apartment might be available. If that does not work out, there are friends in SoHO who have a loft where I can stay. If I go, I will have to cope with some guilt and concern about Mary's lonliness.

No comments:

Post a Comment