You know the old saying, "be careful what you wish for..." Well, I found out first hand today how true this is. My father in law has been living with us since July 5, 2008. What a year it has been. First my mother in law passed unexpectedly in March 2008, and then in July, my father in law fell off his bike. He put a fracture in his hip. Yes, as luck would have it, the same hip that had had a hip replacement 20 years prior. So... began the downward spiral. The long and the short of it - 2 major surgeries, and 3 smaller procedures later between August and September, he returned in early October. Of course, he couldn't manuever the stairs immediately and we set him up on a day bed in our living room, with his own recliner, and TV. He had what I would call a little live in quarters. It worked well as he had his space, yet we were able to help him with meals, and whatever else he needed. As the recovery went on, we relished our time with him. Erin got to spend some quality time with her grandfather too. After the Holidays, as the winter set in, he began looking forward to getting home to Florida. I will admit that I also began to look forward to regaining our normal routines.
Well, that wish came true today as he headed back to Florida today. So tonight as I put my daughter to bed, and we snuggled and the house was suddenly so quiet. We couldn't hear my husband and my father in law chatting downstairs, we didn't hear them arguing with the TV about politics, or even cheering on their beloved SU. The house was eerily quiet and I suddenly realized how much I had wished for this during the somewhat chaotic moments over the last months, and how now that it was here, it simply was not as I had expected.
Sometimes change, despite the upheaval it seems to create, also brings new opportunities. I have enjoyed our change over the last few months as it has been a chance to garner fond memories. Time that we may not have been given with my father in law under other circumstances.
I know he will love being back in Florida, with the sunshine and his routines. As for me, I will treasure the times, remember the laughs and know that this change, like others will bring new opportunities, but I will have a quiet breakfast after Erin goes off to school, and I will miss those moments with my father in law recounting times from his past and learning about his heritage and all that made him who he is.