Copyright © 2004 Henrietta W. Hay
My New Home
August 13, 2004
All my life I have been making choices, as has everyone else in the
world. As a kid I chose riding my pony over playing with dolls, much
to my parents' distress. When it came time to go to college I chose
to go to Colorado University. On graduation, I chose to get married,
which nearly all of us did in 1934. We spent six years in the east
following my husband's jobs. I enjoyed it all, but was homesick for
the mountains. Finally I made another choice. I said, "I've had it.
We're going home to Colorado." So with our one year old son we came
In 1945 we moved to Grand Junction, certainly one of our best choices.
Son number two arrived and the two boys were the definitely the happiest
choices we ever made. In 1960 divorce was not a socially acceptable
choice, but we made it anyway, and suddenly I was making major choices
all by myself again. I made a lot, good and bad. And now, I have made
what is probably close to the final major choice of my 90 years. I have
moved into the Commons of Hilltop.
How does a person reach a decision like this? It probably starts with
birth. All our lives we are making choices. They determine the kind of
human being we will be. Of course, things happen over which we have no
control, but we get to make most of the choices. When I turned 90 I
finally admitted that I am mortal and would soon have to make another
choice. I could continue living in my condo and let my friends help, as
they did when I fell over the jumping curb, and ask my sons fly up
whenever it was necessary and then move me. Or I could make the
decision now and the move myself while I had control
We now have here in Grand Junction several excellent retirement
facilities, which give us real choices. I thought about it at length,
and discussed it seriously with my sons. Their answer was, "Whatever
you want to do, whatever will make you happy." My local friends were
wonderful. They said essentially the same thing. I knew they would
stand by me whatever the decision. So I made it. And here I am at the
Here I have safety, care if I need it at any time, people around, and
new friends to be made, activities, three square meals a day, no
housework and complete privacy when I want it in a very nice apartment.
Except for the fatigue of moving, Mercury the wonder cat and I are
finding it quite pleasant. I am well aware of the serious physical
condition of many of the residents, but most of them seem to be coping
as well as possible.
Am I going to continue my column? You bet, as long as the Sentinel will
keep a liberal writer. Now I will have time to concentrate more on the
column and maybe even start the book I have been threatening to write.
I can see my friends any time, or hole in with Mercury and read a
And I do understand Erma Bombeck's ultimate example of choice. "Seize
the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the