Since it was after dark by the time the long journey to Mills River was completed, we stopped at a local restaurant for dinner...
...and the "presentation of the keys" to Mom's apartment at Heather Glen Assisted Living Residence.
Mom was awesome on her arrival, greeting the "members" sitting in the lobby area with a smile and a charming, "Good-evening everyone. Happy Holidays to you all."
Her first night alone went well and Sunday was a whirlwind of activity with family and new (soon to be, maybe) friends.
We enjoyed brunch in the Club House, including many "Jewish-type" foods in honor of Hanukah: blintzes, noodle kugel, potato pancakes, etc. Mike happily celebrated both Toby's arrival and Navy's big win at the Army Navy Game on Saturday.
After lunch Mom braved the slopes at High Vista for conversation and dessert at the Willen residence. Again, Mom was awesome in her ability to get into and out of the car and handle the challenge of the steps. (Has she been holding out on us all this time in New York?)
We reviewed the Heather Glen welcome packet and Mom selected activities she's interested in during her month in North Carolina: Dancers, singers, a mystery bus ride, a Hanukah party, the Dreidl Game, shopping at a local mall, etc.
We got back to Heather Glen just in time for "The Story of Hanukah" and the Menorah Lighting for Day 2.
Who would have thought the light from the Menorah could be eclipsed by the glowing faces of the Jewish men and women in the circle, "kvelling" at hearing the Hebrew chant, "Oh I can't recall the last time I heard that song!" "This is wonderful; thank you so much."
Add two more holiday blessings that came our way. First, in the "Jewish Geography" discussion that followed, Charlotte (above) and Mom discovered they were in the same graduating class at Seth Low Junior High and Lafayette High School in Brooklyn! Their apartments are two doors down from one another at Heather Glen.
And finally, as we were walking Mom to her apartment before departing, Josh introduced himself to one of the aides as Mom's "son and caregiver". The young blond woman, named Angel (of course), reacted with an acknowledgement that added extra sweetness to the event for him, "Really? 'Caregiver Son', you don't hear that very often."
Josh flew back to LaGuardia from Asheville this morning apparently relieved and content. I visited Mom and together we visited with Charlotte.
I'm wishing that all families may be as blessed as ours this holiday month and may the goodness only multiply in the New Year.