We went out to Gentry Park for a tour. Independent living. Assisted living. Dining room. Coffee shop. Beauty parlor. Exercise room. Patios. An OPP, Old People Place.
OPPs are usually named Village or Park or some other pleasant-sounding word, rather than calling it Eternity’s Waiting Room.
We’re not quite ready for an OPP situation yet, but our friend’s name-Ann-just came to the top on the waiting list for the OPP in her town, and so she decided to sell her house and move to the OPP. She and Bill had put their name on the list about five years ago. He died in the meantime. Her name came up at a good time.
So that got us to thinking. In five years, we might be ready for an OPP. So we went for a tour of Gentry Park. Really nice place. Glad we went, especially since they gave us a peach pie, so that our health will deteriorate faster and we’ll have to move there sooner. [Do not misunderstand; if you want to give me a pie, I’m quite willing to let my body go to pieces.]
It’s good to live where you should be. Some folks need an OPP. But “location, location, location” is not the panacea realtors claim. A different location might help with your problems, but it won’t eliminate them entirely.
My father never quite understood that. In his last years, he kept thinking that if he just changed his location—from house to nursing home to apartment to a different nursing home to a different apartment to still another nursing home—he would be back to being 85 again. He did not get any younger in that process, although I did get quite a bit older.
Each stage of life pulls our limits in a bit more. We need to live within them. If that means moving to an OPP, that’s okay. But we should not let new limits on old limbs limit old virtues like kindness and hope.
A different location doesn’t make you older, and it doesn’t make you younger. It’s just the place where you get to be yourself.
Go where you need to be, but remember that wherever it is, God is there, same as always.
Okay, I think I’ve convinced myself now.