The First Hour: When Reality Hits Like a Brick

I procrastinated when I had to move in with my parents. Not because I didn’t want to help them, because I did. Not because I wasn’t prepared to make changes in my life, because I was. It was because I was scared!

I didn’t know what to expect: where my parents were concerned; where my job was concerned; or, where my life was concerned. It was like stepping through a door and not knowing if my foot would meet solid ground or if I would fall into a gaping hole.

Then I received disturbing news. My parents had no power. I knew there was a problem with the hot water system, but I was told that had been fixed. I didn’t know that the lack of hot water was only the beginning of a much larger issue. An issue that hit me like a brick as soon as I arrived on that cold, Sunday afternoon, with the intention of moving in.

It was 3pm and both my parents wore their night attire. That was alarming in itself, because they NEVER did that. For as long as I can remember they got up early, had breakfast, had showers, got dressed and went to the shops to do their Once-a-Fortnight-Every-Day shopping. Mum always needed to get something and insisted it couldn’t wait until their next shopping day. My dad had resigned himself to this decades ago, but he still couldn’t stop himself from telling everyone he met about it. In reality, it was Mum’s way of “getting out of the house”. They would pick up a few things, have a coffee out and then be home for lunch and a quiet afternoon. It was their routine.

And here they were in their pyjamas. And worse still, Dad was ferreting in the garbage bin and Mum was sitting in the cold house sobbing.

Alarm bells were definitely ringing and I hadn’t even taken my bags into the house yet.

As I walked around the house, I saw the TV had been placed on the floor. Dad said it was broken. He told me the kettle didn’t work or the microwave, for that matter. There was no electricity. No hot water. No heating. This was the immediate cause of the problem, of course, but was not the main reason (as I was soon to find out). My dad was trying to “fix” things but was having trouble. This set more alarm bells ringing, as Dad could fix anything … until now.

I realised then that I had procrastinated too long. My parents had needed me to move in earlier than I had. I finally brought in my bags.

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