Sunday, January 16, 2011

Open House

It's midnight, and everyone has gone to sleep. One of the unfortunate aspects of having my oldest son back in therapeutic placement is that I now have this big house, with only myself and my 12 year old, Remy, in it. I know that eventually my older son will begin visiting on weekends, and eventually my daughter's life will slow down a bit so that she can start visiting more often, but for now, it's rather quiet.

This weekend I have five days off in a row. Due to big cuts in the state budget, the agency that I work for has had to resort to eight furlough days without pay during the next 6 months. While it's nice to have more time at home, it does mean less money, and less time to get the same amount of work done. Oh well, I can't do anything about that.

What I can do is find ways to not feel too lonely in my own home. The prospect of sitting here for five days, feeling low, was too much for me. The first couple of days I found some fun decorating activities, but now I'm spent too much money, and the projects are done with, so life starts moving slowly once again. I decided that it would be a perfect time to have my parents back here for a visit. I really loved having them with me during the Christmas holiday, and since they no longer drive long distances, if I want them to visit, then I need to go get them.

I gave my folks a call, letting them know that since I was not working, I would love to have them visit. They also thought it was a great idea, so I drove the two hours to their home, and now they are here. We sat and talk most of the day, cooked our dinner together, then talked some more late into the evening. I love my parents, and greatly appreciate the gift that they are to me. And, because my parents are here, one of my brothers called and said he and his family would like to come visit tomorrow as well.

This is the gift that keeps on giving!

Tonight I realized that I have only used my oven on two occasions, and both times have been because my parents were here. I love catering to them, and cooking for them. I love discussing my job with them, and explaining how I came to decorate my home in certain ways. I love sharing my world with them. Because I made the move to southern California, I am able to do this more often. Having these types of visits have really helped fill a big void in my life. I get to sit in my home, share it with other adults, and have adult conversations. I get to talk about Michael, about my grief, and hear of their feelings about the man that I lost.

And because of the loss that I have experienced, I don't take any of these opportunities for granted. Just like I knew that I would not always have Michael, I know that I will not always have my parents. I want to enjoy my time with them as often as possible.

I'm realizing that my home is just like my heart, if I open it, they will come.


  1. beautiful. and if i lived close, i would come also. i loved talking to you on the phone. i hope we can do it again soon. i wish you peace.

  2. Hi Dan,

    I found your blog recently via Matt Logelin's blog. I loved your post for today. Yes, keep your heart open. Good things comes to us when we open our hearts, homes, life...

    Hugs and peace to you,
    A reader in NorCal

  3. You are one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, sweetest men I know. I just wanted to let you know that.

  4. Wonderful post, as always. I am also lucky to have my parents here right now and I am counting my blessings that I am able to still share time with them. We have to count our blessings wherever we can find them! And I second Boo's comment!!! You just are!

    Love ya!

  5. So, this is the new house? How neat! Yes, maybe it feels like there is a bit too much space, but there will be many times when that's a good thing - like right now. It's wonderful that your parents can comfortably visit. I agree about making your heart and home open to others. Life can be a lot richer and more interesting when we are able to share our worlds.

  6. Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all your sweet comments. I'm having a very nice day, and love that my home is filled with people, and happy noise.

    Yes Bev, this is my house. I have more photos of it on my Facebook account.

    I hope each of you are having, or have had, a good day as well.

    Love. Dan

  7. Just took a look at your FB photo album. The house looks wonderful, Dan. Almost seems like a tabula rasa waiting for you to make it your own.

  8. Oh my. What a terrific house.
    What a wonderful relationship you have with your family.
    Time with grown-ups is so, so important and I'm glad you're getting some!