Friday, September 4, 2009

Family Man by Daddy Dan

Hi, I'm Dan from, I'm in honored that Red Lotus Mama has asked me to guest-post here. This is the first time I've accepted one of these invitations.

Over the past week I've struggled to come up with something to write. I'm sure those who know me would expect me to try to be funny here, but I'm going to be serious for a change.

Reading Red Lotus Mama's previous posts about moving back in with her parents, and about how difficult a decision it was, struck a nerve with me. I have never talked about it on the internet before, but I went through a similar situation many years ago, and it all worked out great in the end, just as I know it will for Red Lotus Mama.

When I split from my ex, I decided to move out of the apartment we were renting. As I had no immediate place to go, and no money to pay for a place at the time, I moved in temporarily with my grandparents. They were very happy to have me stay a while, and it gave me an opportunity to get my finances back in order.

Very shortly after moving in, it was discovered that my grandpa had an aneurysm on his aorta that had to be repaired. He was a lifetime smoker and had to give up smoking and get his lungs in better shape before the doctors would do the surgery. My short stay at the house started to get longer and longer as I stuck around to help my grandma take care of my grandpa.

After several months, my grandpa had the surgery for his aneurysm. It appeared that the surgery went well at first, but he struggled to recover, due to his lung issues. His stay in the hospital grew longer and longer, and eventually he was placed in long-term care. He never did make it back home after his surgery. After several months, he passed away, and my grandma was all alone. I couldn't leave her.

My grandpa had done everything for her. She didn't even know how to fill her car with gas, as she had never had to do it in her entire life.

I continued living with my grandma. It was tough, as Red Lotus Mama has stated, to lose your privacy and your personal space. I spent a lot of time out of the house, out with friends, partying, but I also had a nice meal every day waiting for me. My grandma really liked having me living with her, as I'm sure she would have been scared and lonely living alone.

As time went by I was able to pay off all my debt and got back into good financial shape. As my grandparents had long ago paid off the mortgage to their house, my grandma didn't have much to pay for. I paid all of her utility bills for her and also chipped in with money for food.

Around this time I met my wife. I continued to be able to save money while living with my grandma, saving enough to pay for an engagement ring, our wedding, and a down payment for our home. I lived with my grandma until our wedding day.

Of course it can be embarrassing to live with family after you've been out on your own. You worry about what others will think - I know I did. But looking back, I realize that my family and friends accepted and understood the situation and realized that what I was doing was best for me at the time, and I know my family appreciated that someone was there for my grandma.

I hadn't really thought much about those days lately, until Red Lotus Mama asked me to guest-post and I was reading through her archives. Her talk about moving in with her parents made me realize how lucky I was to have a loving place to go when I needed it most. Many people aren't so lucky.

I also realized that by staying and helping my grandma through a very rough time, I was able to help myself and set the foundation for the great future I'm so blessed to be living through today. And I hope that Red Lotus Mama's future will be as bright as mine has turned out to be.


Dan writes at Babito's Dad. Follow him on Twitter.