After 22 years of helping seniors downsize, pack and move, I have noticed a disturbing trend. My senior clients are intimidated about asking their children for help when faced with a major move. The problem seems to originate in the hearts and minds of those aging parents. Even when faced with the burdensome cost of hiring “movers”, most parents are shy about asking for the most basic help.
Oh, sure, our children lead busy lives. They may be overloaded financially, they are probably burdened with work and community commitments and perhaps are even challenged with dangling responsibilities for their own “almost grown” children. BUT, as parents, we still have the responsibility to continue teaching our children as long as we are on the planet. We cannot be too afraid to ask them for help. We are actually offering a growth experience, one of the few remaining chances before we exit. Remember, their children (our grandchildren) learn from patterned experiences. What better example for our children to set for their children then leaning into a legacy project like helping us move.
There is so much to gain by deepening the family connection during a move and much to lose if hands are not joined. What better time to share family stories and history? Seize the event to associate meaningful pieces of furniture, photos and other collectibles with a family chain that will be lost forever if we (myself included) do not grab the moment. As seniors, most of us have assets to give to our children.
Don’t just let them do a “grab and run”. Allow them to give back. They can help pack, sort and unpack, even if it means taking a few “vacation days” for our major life change. Then when we are gone, they will have peace in their hearts, knowing that at every stage of our life with them they were there for us, as we have been for them. In exchange, they will inherit the respect and tender caring from their own children, by virtue of their example. And any sacrifice they make, as they pitch in, expands the hearts of everyone.
AND ISN’T THAT WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT?
Linda Balentine is the Founder and CEO of Crowning Touch Senior Moving Services in Roanoke Virginia. Learn more at www.CrowningTouchUSA.com or visit their consignment shop and auction gallery at 6704 Williamson Rd. Roanoke, Virginia or call (540) 982-5800.