A Room With A View

14 Nov

Before I started elementary school, my parents purchased a house on East Fifth Avenue in Florala across a side street from the high school. Their logic—my sister and I wouldn’t need cars to drive to high school; we could walk. A few years later the high school was relocated across town and a hospital built in its place. So much for planning! But that was my childhood home for 12+ years. It was where my mother lived until her stroke.

When Hubby and I came to town last week and realized Daddy was so near the end of his life, we decided not to return to Nashville unless he vastly improved which isn’t likely. We called my sister in Seattle who made arrangements to fly down immediately. I had a friend pack a suit for Greg, some clothes for me and Fed Ex them to us here.

Long-time family friends offered us accommodations, but Hubby and I wanted to stay with my sister and her partner so we’d have a place to decompress in private. There is a local B&B which features a house, cabins and I’m not sure what else sprinkled all around town. The owner graciously offered us use of the entire house for as long as we needed it. She moved her other reservations to different sites. Now, realize Florala isn’t that big and there aren’t that many options, so this was a real find. Our hostess has brought food for both here and Daddy’s house, and treated us to a pound cake fresh from the oven. It WAS yummy.

The cool thing about the guesthouse is that it is also on East Fifth Avenue, the same side of the road (north) as my childhood home. The bedroom I’m sleeping in is in the same location as my old room; the window is on the same wall although the door and closet placements aren’t the same. The furniture arrangement is different, so it doesn’t have the same feng shui feel, but the sounds from the window are the similar to those decades ago. I’ve rested well here. It’s comfortable.

Lying in bed my fifth or sixth night here, I realized this is the most continuous nights I’ve spent in Florala since the late 70’s. Wow! Yet, after all those years it still feels the same. It still feels like home.

Out the front door we can see Florala’s beautiful Lake Jackson, lovely any time of year. We are near downtown so we can walk anywhere we want to go – pharmacy, restaurants, grocery store, florists, limited shopping.

It’s a peaceful place to relax and wait when we aren’t at Daddy’s bedside.

A lot of commotion bothers Daddy, so we are limiting our visits to a couple a day and when the Hospice team is on sight. He has an excellent care team in place; we don’t want to interfere with that. We just want to see him, hug, kiss him, and tell him that we love him…every day for the rest of his life.


  1. Phyllis Allen

    November 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Kay & Bretta, I’m so sorry about Uncle Joel. My prayers are with you all. I know what it feel like to watch you mom and dad lose their battle. One day soon I know he will be walking those streets of gold. I will always remember the good times I have had with uncle Joel and be thankful that he was Mother’s brother. I wish I was closer to you all but I know prayers will help!! Love Phyllis

  2. Laura Austin

    November 15, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Kay, May the outstretched arms of love from so many carry you through this difficult time. You are in my prayers. So much love! Laura