“We store humans ‘til they die, however long it takes.” Oh, that’s not what the ad for Silver Palms Vista Retirement Retreat said. Nor did it say, “We’ll take care of your loved one before they rest for good.” No, that’s not what it said.
Actually, Silver Palms Vista Retirement Retreat is a comprehensive retirement community, offering independent living, assisted living, nursing care, and dementia care. It’s like a resort, with activities, shows, meals, lectures, and parties. It’s like a cruise that never docks.
Marlene was reading the ad, desperate for someone to relieve her of the responsibility of taking care of her father. She had the next generation to look after, but she was stuck hours every day looking after the last generation. Not to mention that the current generation could use a break now and then.
So she went to see Silver Palms Vista Retirement Retreat, without her father, for a guided tour of what could be her father’s next-to-final resting place. It was lovely, just like the ad portrayed. She saw happy, engaged, alert older people in an inviting environment, sharing their last years with others doing the same.
But Marlene’s father wasn’t a happy, engaged senior. He was a cantankerous, Trump-hugging curmudgeon who had, since Marlene’s first day on this earth, been a figurative thumb at the edge of the lens in the photo of Marlene’s life.
No, she knew, she was in the wrong place at Silver Palms Vista Retirement Retreat. She needed to find a place that would just store her irascible father ‘til he dies, however long it takes. All she needed was storage.