I'm shaking my head at myself as I sit here, wondering just how interesting life's twists and turns are. Four weeks ago, I was a bit worried about facing an empty nest; my youngest was heading off to join the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech, and I was facing being in our home alone. Now, I'm no stranger to being on my own; I've been a single mom for 19 years. But this just seemed so final - and so lonely!
Enter Nicky's family. Nicky, as you may recall from my last blog, is five years old. His oldest brother Chris was killed in a car accident on July 6. His family had planned to rent a home near here and discovered that it was a total disaster when they moved in. I'm talking demolition-type disaster here - the house should be razed and a new one built on the lot. There wasn't even a subfloor in the master bath - you could look straight down to the cement floor of the basement below! Folks who are familiar with the house suspect that an ex-husband turned on the water in the tub and just left. His former spouse is serving in Afghanistan. The finished walls of the basement have been torn down and new studs replace old ones. Mildew lingers everywhere you cannot escape its smell no matter where in the house you go. Because no one cleaned out the gutters in over five years, the forest that surrounds the house has taken over - there are small seedlings growing from the gutters! Ice jams have created leaks in the roof. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
As soon as my friend told me about the condition of the house, I told him to call his daughter and ask them to come here, with me. That was several weeks ago and now they're residing in my home, at least for a while. And I was worried about having an empty nest! I now have Nicky, his 8 year old brother and his 3 year old brother, plus their two parents. It's working out well - very well!
Now, I have Lego pieces and Spongebob Squarepants competing with Matchbox cars on my floors for space. Instead of quiet meals eaten alone, I have a full table of six, featuring three young boys chattering about their day. I've cleaned off little fingerprints from my walls and fridge, given baths to the youngest and turned on the shower for the oldest boy, made 18 eggs for breakfast along with a double batch of pancakes, and learned that Crystal hot sauce is great on meatloaf!
I love it. I feel so blessed to have them here with me.