So, today as our family enjoyed a lovely Sunday roast dinner (nothing like walking into a house that smells of roasted goodness simply waiting to be devoured), my visiting father got the phone call that he finally, after about two years, has an offer on his house. He hung up, and told me the details, and asked what I thought.
We’ve been discussing the theoretical possibility of him moving in for quite a while — since before he put his house up for sale. So this whole process is has been on the horizon. And like the DH said, it was kind of nice Dad was here when he got the call — to process.
My mom has been gone for almost seven years. Since then, Dad’s learned to cook his own food, clean his own house, do his laundry and spent many, many nights by himself watching old Westerns and falling asleep listening to the lonely sounds of a house that use to be full of laughter and noisy college kids and grandchildren squealing on Christmas morning.
So, I told my dad he needed to do whatever he thought. It’s what I always tell him when he’s dealing with matters of his money or his future. But he’s pretty convinced this is the way it should go. We would be “home base,” and he’d plan to travel a lot to my siblings’ homes or Florida, or wherever. We have a bedroom with an attached full bathroom. He’ll have his space, but can join us whenever — for meals, for movies … he just kept saying, “I won’t have to be alone every night.”
So … Pappy’s moving in. Will it be different? Yeah. Part of the beauty of home schooling is the quiet I have in the morning, because the kids get up leisurely quite a while after I do. That will change — Dad’s an early riser. He also is limited a bit on his eating … so I’ll just have to be more aware of that. Our family is always on the go … he’ll have to adjust and join, or spend time on his own (which he does enjoy, to some extent). And, I’m sure it’s not going to be easy … Dad is a great guy, but he’s 84 years old, and set in so many ways.
But what will we be gaining?
My dad is a good storyteller. I’m exited that he’ll be close, to share stories and laughs with us.
My dad is funny. Having him around will provide joy, whether he intends it or not. (Like not turning his phone off during church today, then blaming it on one of my young career kids because “he had to show her his picture of her …).
I know he’s safe. He’s here, he’s interacting … I’ve noticed him losing track of stories and thoughts sometime. I think being with people more often will keep his mind sharper longer.
I like him being around. I promised my mom I wouldn’t let Dad be lonely after she died. I haven’t always been able to keep that promise. Having him here will make keeping that promise easier.
He makes friends easily. There are many older folks here in our lives that are wonderful, but because of where we are at in our lives with whom we don’t get to interact with much. Having Dad here will give us an excuse to have his “friends” over to eat, and laugh, and share.
So, am I “Pollyanna” about the whole thing? No.
But after I lost my mother, and both of the DH’s parents, I know how very short time is with my folks. And although my dad hasn’t been perfect, he’s a good man who has done the best with what he had. And even though the choice may not be perfect … it’s the right thing. And I believe (and DH echoed this thought today), “It’s the right time for the right thing.”