Three years ago when we bought the land and built the house we live in we made the third bedroom into an in-law suite because his dad was going to come live with us.
Fast forward three years and now we’ve got two kids and a room full of ‘storage’.
Until this weekend.
This weekend we are clearing and cleaning that in-law suite/room because on Wednesday Bill will arrive in Houston with his 95 year old father. For a ‘visit’. He may stay a month or forever.
I’ve got mixed emotions about this. Fear, of course. How much care is he going to need?
Satisfaction - no matter what happens this will be good for the kids. There are loads of studies that have shown having three generations in the house is all kinds of beneficial. Grandparents and grandkids have special relationships and having him here will be good for them.
Fear. He doesn’t speak much English. My meager inventory of Japanese words aren’t going to do me any good in a real crisis, unless he needs tea, water, milk, or a newspaper RIGHT AWAY.
Fear. What if he DIES here!? And the kids find him? Or he gets sick and won’t go to a hospital? Or does go to the hospital but completely freaks out because no one in Texas speaks Japanese?
Alright so it sounds like my ‘mixed’ emotions are like 90% fear for me and 10% satisfaction I am doing the right thing for the kids.
The timing was right when I saw a video on facebook about two 98 year old sisters arguing in the car all the way to the post office. I shared it on my facebook because I laughed so hard I cried. I think I needed the reminder that old doesn’t mean dead. At 95 he is still living on his own for a few days a week so clearly he is quite mobile.
I don’t know what is in store for us for the next few weeks, or years, but like everything else I’m nervous about I’m going to take it one day at a time. When that seems like too much I’ll take it one minute at a time. You can get through anything for the next 60 seconds if you have to.
I am curious how the relationship between Ojichaan (Grampy in Japanese) and the kids will change and grow. He is looking forward to meeting Benji for the first time, and re-establishing the relationship with Ellie.
Regardless of how I feel, I know I’m doing the right thing by welcoming him here. There are times in your life where you don’t know how it’s going to end, how you’re going to get through it, but you know it needs to be done. So everything else after that doesn’t really matter.
Anyway, like Dean Koontz says, where there’s cake there’s hope. And there’s always cake.