Last month was full of good news. My brother graduated with his Master’s and my parents had a really great time going down to celebrate.
When they got back, however, it was clear my father wasn’t doing well. He’d been relatively independent until one day he just wasn’t. It was heartbreaking to see a man who could go upstairs on his own one week confined to a wheelchair the next. And we had no explanation.
It would have been devastating at any time, but it felt very much like a slap in the face considering my parents had already prepared to put their house on the market in favor of finding a house all on one level so Dad would have more freedom. Gone was the notion that he could take the dogs and leave the house if someone wanted to see it. And while I know people can look at your house while the owner is sitting there, it’s another thing entirely to have dogs to worry about too.
I had visions of potential buyers referring to the house as “the one with all the barking dogs.” Again, not the end of the world, but without any idea what was going on with Dad, I want the house to sell fast. And it’s cute to say “The poodles do not convey with the house” but it sure doesn’t feel like you’re doing your best.
So that’s how my parents and I ended up switching places. Nothing like a good old fashioned house swap to keep things really interesting, right?
Yes, that means my parents and our combined total of 4 dogs were cozying up in my 1 bedroom condo. Keeping a house in pristine show quality is exponentially easier when there’s just one already tidy adult living there.
Plus, my father was suddenly getting his mobility back. He started walking again, getting up to get his lunch out of the fridge and so on. It may not have been a dream come true for my parents to stay in that little space but it was a weight off everyone’s shoulders.
Until the air conditioning went out. What’s they say about the best laid plans?
So now we’re all back in the house until the a/c can be repaired and all you can do is laugh (easy to do when you’re in a plush, temperature controlled setting). Dad will go for an MRI tomorrow to see if there’s some explanation for his drastic loss of function but given his recent rebound it seems like overkill.
At any rate, I know some dogs who are happy with this turn of events.
I’m at a point where it feels like there’s always just one more thing. But as stressful as the whole thing has been I’m already starting to forget how overwhelmed I was last week. I know someday, maybe even next week, I’ll be able to laugh really hard about all of this.