Moving in general is annoying difficult and just an unwanted stressor in life. Moving from a two bedroom, two bath apartment to my father’s basement, well… let’s just say, “stressor” doesn’t even come close to what I am feeling.
Let me start by saying I love my father, but every human being has their flaws and my father is not an exception to the rule. He does things that make my teeth grinding and there is only so many times I can hear about the “Big Band Theory”, but I love him nonetheless. Not to mention, he is a great father and although he has made mistakes, I know he would do anything for me, my siblings, and the people he loves. This is why he lets my 30-year-old brother and his dog live rent-free. Now, he is taking on, my partner Dan, our dog Nestle and I, in his three bedroom, one in a half bath raised ranch also, rent-free.
My parents bought this home together over 35 years ago. They raised my four siblings and I. As a child, I never really noticed that the house was small and sharing a bedroom with 2 other girls was a bit cramped. All I knew as a kid was that I loved my family regardless of how much I hated them at times. We had so much fun even when playtime ended in tears. I have always considered myself lucky.
Fast forward to me at 26 years old. My mother chose to leave my father. I won’t go into why or how it happened, but I will tell you of the aftermath. It was awful. My relationship between my parents drastically changed. My father is old, sick and not really sure how to take care of himself. Then here is my mother ended up moving in with my grandmother. Who, shortly after the move suffered from a massive stroke and my mother is now her primary caregiver. Life took a turn, leaving us all with whiplash.
When expressing to my father that Dan and I were hoping to buy a home, he offered his house without a second thought. After many months of thinking about it, Dan and I finally started to make the move. What we didn’t know was that because of my Dad’s poor health and my mothers new duties as a daughter, I was left to go through 37 years of my parents relationship. When my mother made the choice to leave my father, I being the youngest and the closet with my parents, in turn took it that hardest. When it came to sorting through whose records were whose, what furniture came from Grandma Lee’s vs. Uncle George’s it was like living their separation all over again and it took a toll on me.
Over 8 weeks, I was driving between my apartment, my father’s house and my grandmother’s three to five times a week. Packing up their life together in boxes and determining the fate of who holds which memories.
Week nine finally came and Dan and I were moving in. We where then told by our management company that we have to clean the carpets and paint the walls. I lost it. It wasn’t because it was too much work (well it was) , but I lost it because I felt that life was no longer on my side. I try so hard to keep it together. I aimed to be the best; the best employee, be the best mother to my dog, be the best spouse and be the best daughter to both of my parents, but when I was told I had to paint the walls, I realized I couldn’t take it anymore. This great idea to start our new life had broke me.
We moved majority of our belongings into a storage facility and the rest into my Dad’s. All that was going to my dads was our couch, bed, two dressers and a bit of craft supplies. Once everything was in the basement, which was now our studio apartment I realized how small my childhood home was and is.
Its now has been two weeks since we moved in. Dan and I are still trying to get our barring’s. My brother’s dog and mine are having an adjustment period of their own. My brother can no longer escape from world though his video games in what now is my studio apartment. I can see the struggle Dan is having with such the small space and the endless conversations with my father. Then there is my mother, whom for as long as I am living with my father, will never come over and visit me. All of it is a struggle, but I tell myself it is only for a year and then life will go back to normal, but will it?
Living back home as an adult is a stressor, it is a pain, but above all else, it is a reality check. It opens your eyes, and shows you that your parents are just people and they are not perfect. Building a life together may seem impossible and they may come off stubborn at times, but this is life and a part of life you must endure. It will be a struggle. A struggle worth having, providing an opportunity to learn from your parents and grow a new found bond with them.