Two years ago, my parents moved from Washington State to Arizona. Other than the four years I was away at college, it's the first time in my life they haven't lived nearby.
I'm 47 years old, and I'm mad at my parents for moving away from me. Isn't that the most ridiculous sentence you've ever read? Even as I write it, I know how silly I sound.
My sweet mother worked very hard her entire life, supporting three kids and my father. Dad almost always had jobs, but he never put much effort into them, and my mom had to pick up the slack. There wasn't a lot of money, but we managed, and mom did the best she could.
In October of 2011, my mother was finally able to retire. By February of 2012, my parents had sold my childhood home and everything in it, built a new house in a 55+ community near Phoenix, and they were gone.
Just like that.
It happened so fast, we didn't have time to protest, much less offer any alternatives. I was shocked when they said they were moving, since they had never mentioned they were considering it. I'm pretty sure they had not even visited Arizona before.
Their reasons for going were valid. The home I grew up in was too big for the two of them, and even small houses in our area would have stretched their retirement budget. In Phoenix, they built a brand new, perfectly sized rambler in a beautiful community, and it was very affordable. It sits on a man made lake, and my dad can fish to his heart's content. The weather is sunny every day, and their life is more laid back and relaxed.
Logically, I know that my parents deserve to live wherever they want, and this is honestly none of my business. I'm a grown woman, and they don't have to stay nearby just because I want them to. Living for 35 years in rainy, gray Washington takes a toll, and I completely understand them wanting to live in the sunshine and warmth. As their daughter, if I decided to move away, I would expect them to support me.
However, I'm being emotional and immature, and not logical.
Because they left us. All three children, two sons-in-law, four grandchildren, and the life we had shared for 47 years. They live in Phoenix full time, and we live in Washington. My dad refuses to visit except once a year at Christmas. My mom comes up more often, but dad doesn't like her leaving him, so she feels guilty the entire time she's here.
I had been looking forward to spending more time with my mom when she retired, going to lunch, shopping and talking. I miss her every single day.
They are so far away, and I worry about them. My father had a stroke five years ago, and his health isn't great. If my parents needed me, it would take all day to get to them, instead of the usual twenty minutes. I hate the thought of my mom being all alone with no family or friends to help her.
Maybe this just happened at a bad time. My boys are getting ready to leave the nest, and I feel like my parents have abandoned me in my time of need :).
I hope my readers can forgive me for sounding so selfish and ridiculous, but it feels helpful to vent here. I assure you, I know I need to get over this, and be thankful for the new life my parents are living - a life they deserve to have. I'm lucky to still have them - I love them and want them to be happy.
I'm just so sad that they left me for the sunshine.