In which I am roadkill.

I got dressed today, cleaned my kitchen and did a solid two hours of work.

That might be all I have in me.

In the last three weeks, my FIL had a house fire, my husband and his siblings determined their dad couldn’t live alone anymore, and we moved him across two states to live in our city. I toured five senior living communities, held down the fort for 10 days while my husband was with his dad, then pretty much single-handedly outfitted and set up the new apartment. Also? While my MIL has been recovering from surgery, we have been caring for her 65-pound dog.

We are so blessed. Both of My Guy’s parents are fine. We have the flexibility to take the time to do these hard things. Insert all gracious and grateful thoughts here.

But this is hard, y’all. This is so very hard.

First off? My personal limit for large dogs is two. Dolly the Dog-in-Law is beautiful and sweet and has the softest fur.

But I now realize after extensive research and careful consideration that ours is a two-large-dog-max household. She clearly disapproves.

Secondly? There’s a certain freedom to just being blatantly honest about what’s happening in your life. I hate complainers, but I have taken to just being all, “Yeah, my FIL’s house burned down and everything is shit. How are you?” And it has opened up a new vulnerability with friends and acquaintances. Who probably all now think I’m insane. Also? If you want to get out of something, tell a story about fire in a distant city. People will give you a wide berth, like you are physically emitting sparks.

Third? Choosing a senior community is not unlike sorority rush. Which house is best for you? What people do you click with? Or, as my brother Poochie oh so helpfully pointed out, who is paired for the senior living equivalent of Greek Week? Will Glenwood Springs go with Oakwood Heights or will they choose those skanks over at Meridian Retirement Living?

Fourth? The People tell me that doing the right thing is not negated by having a crap attitude. Which is good, I guess. Because my outlook has ranged from empowered to dedicated to fuck this shit.

Fifth? Talk to your family about durable power of attorney. Pay your insurance premiums. And don’t look too happy, lest the universe decide to take you down a notch.

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  • Reply Ernie November 9, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    It feels wrong to say I love this. To be clear, your gift of humor makes this shit show funny. I’m keeping the mention of a fire in my aresenal if ever I need a wide berth.

    My adult, responsible-at-times-when-it-suits-him son lives with us. He bought a puppy last summer. An Irish setter puppy who has eaten almost everything I care about aside from family members. We were previously a zero dog household in part because of my allergies and in part because we are busy people. I like dogs but have never lived with one, so this situation is not ideal. Plus I run a daycare out of my home. I can only imgaine the challenges of working an additional large dog into your life. By the way, Dolly IS so pretty.

    Retirement living as compared to Greek Life? You’ve uncovered a truth few of us probably recognized.

    I applaud you for your efforts and your willingness to come to the rescue of your FIL and MIL and their pet. Hope things settle down soon. Good luck.

  • Reply Melissa November 19, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    I wondered about your extra dog. I’m glad she’s sweet and endearing.
    TOO FUNNY to compare nursing homes to frats and sororities! LOL
    You and your husband are heroic. I’m sure you’ve heard people tell you that, but it’s true, what an act of love you are performing.
    The takeaways from this experience are good ones, so who’s the real winner here????

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