Casetti is a new homeowner, humanitarian,
freelance writer, and an aspiring artist. While she typically writes about
community involvement and ways to give back, she has taken the time to share
her recent relocation experience and how downsizing can help bring families
It all kind of happened at the same time: My husband, Frank, and I were in the
middle of downsizing and were about to move from Texas to our first-ever home
together in Decatur, GA. It was
2012, and I was beyond excited.
And then we got a phone call from my mother-in-law.
My father-i n -law (who I refer to as
dad) was 81 and had fallen and injured his hip. My in-laws had a quaint little house up in New Jersey, and
every morning dad would walk from his front porch to the mailbox with his golden
retriever to get the morning paper.
Apparently the ice was pretty thick one winter morning and dad fell on
his way to the driveway. Frank and
I were terrified; we couldn’t shake this helpless feeling because they were so
far away. And then we thought, “Hey! We’re moving to Decatur, maybe we should
move them too.” Wasting no time at all, we found a great little apartment
complex for them only a few miles from our new home-to-be.
And so began the long, arduous process of downsizing not
one, but two separate families! Though we were all excited about living so close to each
other, the move itself was a nightmare—we simply had too many things. While I
was excited to move to a new city where our in-laws would be near us, I was not
looking forward to packing up both my and my in-law’s stuff.
Frank and I immediately booked a flight to Jersey and a week
later we were helping them sort through 50 years’ worth of love, life and
memories into one small moving truck.
Saying it was hard to go through their basement filled with antique
chairs and various photo albums of Frank as a blonde haired, blued eyed boy
deciding what was and wasn’t worth keeping is an understatement: It was brutal. Dad was still in rehab at the hospital
and mom was so overrun with grief that it was hard to motivate her. I knew they wanted to move, it’s just
that the process itself was so difficult.
We ended up storing a lot of their cherished belongings in a Storage Post
facility, which really helped make the whole process easier.
The in-laws moved down here about a month after I first
bounced the thought in my head.
Though the whole process was tough, it didn’t take long for them to
settle in. Dad in particular
seemed to thrive in the warmer climate and I know mom is much happier being
closer to us. Before, the in-laws
would call maybe once or twice a month, now we see them almost every other day.
Fast forward a year and a half and we all couldn’t be
happier. In fact, I’m having the
family over for dinner tomorrow night!
Now that he has more free time, Dad spends most of his time outdoors
with a glass of sweet tea and a nice book. He’s fully mobile again, and with this wonderful southern
climate, worrying about the ice is (almost) a thing of the past. I’m happy to announce how close we’ve
grown this past year, and I can’t believe it took a potential catastrophe for
me to realize just how dear family is.
Bringing them here, within a few minutes from us, was one of the best
decisions Frank and I ever made.
While downsizing and retiring can be an overwhelming
process, finding the good in situations can make all the difference. It’s
important to keep loved ones close at heart and near in proximity, and to
realize that it’s never too late to reconnect with family.