Today is not only the official first day of Spring (and welcome to it!), but today is the day we are moving my dad into our home. While the upstairs renovations (Dad’s bedroom, private bath and sitting room) are not yet complete, he is going to have our bedroom on the first floor, and we will all share the first floor bathroom as well. This means that we can take the time to get the upstairs done completely and well.
We bought a wonderful sleeper sofa and actually slept on it for the first time the other night—it was heavenly! Things felt slightly off until we realized that we had swapped our usual sides of the bed; I am usually on the right-hand side of the bed, and the Crankee Yankee is on the left. So we swapped sides last night; MUCH better.
The cats are all be-flummoxed by this change, but that didn’t stop them from swarming us all night long. Once Dad gets into the bedroom, the sliding door will be closed so the cats will leave him alone. It’s not that Dad doesn’t like them, but he prefers to have them on his time, if you know what I mean.
This has been a long, hard winter for Dad. Just doing simple chores has become more than he has strength for, so by living with us, he doesn’t have to do a thing if he doesn’t want to. He also feels he doesn’t want to drive any longer. It isn’t that he has lost his edge, but he tires of the increasingly selfish and dangerous actions of others on the road. I don’t blame him a bit. It IS scary out there.
As I have said before, our house is pretty much in semi-construction mode all the time. But over time I have come to love and appreciate this house more and more. Not only that, but I am constantly in awe of how the Crankee Yankee works. He always finds the way to get things done. Also, my wonderful brother-in-law, David, helps him a lot, and boy—do we appreciate him.
Of course in living this way there are irritating things that happen from time to time; I clean about once a week, knowing that there will always be traces of mud or melting ice here and there, sawdust is definitely a frequent house guest, and then there is the cat fur from five (count ’em, FIVE) cats.
But besides all that, this is a home filled with love, kindness and an abiding spirit of joy. My hope is that Dad will fall into the arms of all this love and kindness, knowing that he is cared for and welcomed in every way. I have told him that he doesn’t have to do a thing; just be here and enjoy himself. This time of year tires him, so if he wants to snooze in bed for the better part of the day, so be it.
We have stocked the ‘fridge with everything he likes; hot dogs and beans, handmade burgers, soups, salads, fresh fruit, and of course, chocolate chip cookies. He doesn’t eat that much at a sitting, but that’s ok. I told him that he never has to do laundry again, or vacuum, or dust, or anything.
I look forward to this time with happiness. My dad adopted me when I was four years old; he and Mom were newly married, and he became from then on my real dad. I learned a long time ago that blood doesn’t make a parent; but love in action does.
I feel blessed that we have the chance to all be together as a family—as it should be. Family is everything.