Someone recently asked me how I came to be living with my Dad. I guess it’s an honest question and I don’t blame people for being curious. After all, I am 50-something years old. I guess you might think it’s just weird. Well, I really don’t care what you think. How’s that for honest? Having said that, I will tell you the story of how me living with my Dad came to be.
Back in 1992, my mother lived in SW Missouri (as I do now) but she had left my Dad and her family behind. We were all still living in California. She was killed in an auto accident in 1992 when she was thrown from her pick up. She wasn’t wearing her seat belt. Although it was terribly sad and hurt my heart deeply, I knew something bad was going to happen. I just knew. (That’s another story for another day.)
After she was gone, we (my Dad, my ex and I) had started talk of moving to Arkansas or Missouri. Dad wanted us to come with him because he didn’t want to be alone. He wanted to go somewhere where he could afford to purchase a home. Mom had pretty much spent every last dime he ever made and he could never afford to buy a place of his own. So, we talked a lot about when and where, and how we would pull it together. We would pool our incomes and help each other out with household duties, child care, etc. My grandmother (mother’s mother) would come with us because there was no way I would leave her in California with no one to take care of her.
The plan was that Dad was going to rent a Uhaul, pack it up with the things we didn’t want to leave behind. He would leave in May of 1993. Before he left, he bought plane tickets for my kids, my grandmother, and I. We would be leaving in July. (My ex was supposed to follow around December but it was apparent before we even left that he was just itching to get rid of us and had no intention of following us out here at all. Another story, another day.)
Before we left, I packed a few boxes of items we wanted to keep but needed up until the last minute. I shipped those boxes via UPS to my sister’s house in Illinois. We would be staying with her for a little while until Dad found a house and got it ready for us all to move in. It took a little longer than he expected to find a place so we were at my sister’s house for 3 weeks. I bet that was a long 3 weeks for her!
So, fast forward…. My Dad, my grandmother, my kids and I are living in the same house. I was working full time and my kids were in school. Dad took on ‘father figure status’ and took care of the kids when I was at work; he made sure they were fed, clean, nice to each other and that they did their homework. My grandmother tried to help but caused a lot of trouble in the process. (Another story.) I worked my butt off until I had the opportunity to start my own home business. I learned about marketing and how to build a website. I learned everything I could about websites and online businesses so that I could work at home. I learned how to make my own bath and body products and my business was finally being noticed. I had many repeat customers.
I could have moved out of the house and created a home for my kids elsewhere, but by then my grandmother had passed away and that would have left Dad all alone. The whole reason he wanted us to move here with him in the first place was so he wouldn’t be alone. Besides, Dad’s house was my kids’ home.
Dad is 80 now. The kids are grown and moved out. I have had health issues that have led me to close my home business. I can no longer work and I receive SSI benefits. I still try to take care of Dad, as best I can. I make sure he eats, takes his medications, get him to his doctor appointments, etc. Dad helps me too. He’s a big help with many of the household chores that are now difficult for me. He unloads the car when I go for groceries. He washes dishes and helps with the laundry. He is a very entertaining housemate, and if you read Shit My Dad Says, then you will understand the extent of humor in our house! He is my best friend and I’m not going anywhere!
So, that is the story! That’s how I came to be living with my Dad. I wouldn’t change that for anything. Questions? Just ask.