Organizing a Life

Readers of this blog know that my mother was an inspiration for my elder law practice, and the source of much of the information I chose to share in this blog.

Sadly, my family lost my mother in early November,  after a long and full life of 95-1/2 years. Her family and friends had come together to celebrate her 95th birthday over Mother’s Day weekend, and I was fortunate enough to be able to take her out to dinner just 2 weeks before she fell ill.

My mother had followed the sun in her retirement to Boca Raton, FL, to a community where none of her family was living.   She had distributed, or sold, the furnishings my brothers and I remembered from when we were growing up, and she had made gifts of treasured items such as jewelry, china and crystal when she was able to enjoy our reaction to receiving them.

That said, when my husband and I went to clean her condo for sale, we found years and years’ worth of paper records, her beautiful wardrobe (which reminded me of many wonderful shopping trips!) and lots of pots and pans, dishes and serving pieces, not to mention the furniture that she had purchased with the condo. If this was overwhelming to us in a condo of less than 750 square feet, I can only imagine how daunting the task would be for a whole house.

We were fortunate to be introduced to a company called Caring Transitions, without which I cannot imagine having accomplished what we needed to do.  The owner helped us organize what we wanted to keep and took care of shipping it for us; he arrange for the sale of the items that we felt would be worth the effort; recommended worthy recipients for donated medical equipment and other items, and then disposed of the rest, leaving the condo broom-clean for its sale.  He was kind enough to go out of his way to deliver items that we wanted to give to my mother’s long-time caregiver, and to return the various visions aids to Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches (he said he lived nearby, but I don’t believe him – I think he said that to make us feel less guilty about his offer!)  He treated everything with the utmost respect, and he treated my husband and me with compassion above and beyond the call of duty.

I know there are similar businesses throughout the country, and I am familiar with some of them, through my practice, in Arizona.   But I am sure that we found an exceptional one, owned by an amazing, compassionate man, who helped us deal with my mother’s things in a way that let us continue to focus on what we really inherited from her – her love of family and of learning, and the most incredible can-do attitude of anyone I have ever met.



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