These are my “roommates”… they also happen to be my parents, Sumner and Carol. Married for over 40 years, they are each other’s best friends. They would go to the ends of the earth for my sister and me. I am so grateful to have them in my life.
I don’t permanently live with my parents. They make their home in a two-bedroom townhouse in the Boston suburbs. My permanent home is in Bath, Maine where I work as the Director of College Counseling at a prep school. I have a great apartment on campus with a big red couch that Sadie and I love! I am settled and take comfort in my space. “Home,” however, has many meanings – it can be fluid and be different places for different people. For me, right now, “home” is where my family lives. Therefore, Sadie and I are living with my parents while I undergo treatment. Sometimes it’s challenging to be home when old patterns emerge, but it is mostly a comfort.
For those of you who know my family, you know we are a tight-knit team. So, when one of us is facing a challenge, we are there for each other. My Mom and Dad have my back. Whatever I need, they are “happy to do it!” They never complain.
My Mom has never – in the 5 years I have been fighting cancer – missed a doctor’s appointment; she has been to every chemo treatment and scan; she is my advocate when I can’t advocate for myself. My Dad would be at every appointment if he could; I just find it overwhelming to have more than one person with me. Instead, he helps alleviate some of my burdens – he takes care of Sadie while I’m at the hospital, he makes sure my gas tank is full and my oil is changed; he even does my laundry (ok, so I’m a little spoiled!). Perhaps most important, he walks to Starbucks everyday to get me a coffee (no whipped cream this time of year, as it is strictly iced in this heat!)!
As roommates go, I’m pretty lucky these days. While I get frustrated from time to time that I have to live with my “roommates” because of my circumstances, I am thankful every day that I have them to turn to when I need them the most.