My friend is moving to Assisted Living. There he will get help with his personal care and nutrition. He will have a small apartment, surrounded by others with the same requirements. I stopped by his house recently. He was in his garage. We stood there together and looked around. It is a wonderful garage, telling the story of his life. In the middle, a hot car. He does not drive anymore. The car is one of many he has bought and loved. On one wall his tools and work bench. Tools for household repairs, and tools for his cars. Screws, nuts and bolts in glass jars. On another wall are shelves holding file boxes marked with the names of civic and community organizations. Some were his passion. Others his wife's. She died several years ago. Her grand piano is in the living room. None of his children or grandchildren play. Next to the files are the gardening tools, then the Christmas decorations. There are cupbords holding paint for interior walls and exterior trim. Pet paraphenalia for both dogs and cats. A large fan, space heater, and then small kitchen appliances.
We didn't talk much. We knew that none of these things would go with him to Assisted Living. My friend is in his nineties. He can no longer manage on his own. As we closed the garage door he said "old age is not for sissies."