Trying To Get My Heart Home

by Amelia Kanan

Aye yi yi.

It’s been a little over a month since I crashed my mom’s car. The process of getting a new one has been filled with lots of research, back and forth business and test driving but the worst of it all is that I’ve been stuck in this house without an escape. Ironically, the car “we” have decided on is an Escape (I think).

Now before I say anything, I want to preface by asking you to believe me when I say that I am not ungrateful, I realize how privileged I am and mentally (and verbally) say “thank you” for being so lucky to be in this position of financial safety. However, my mental health is for sure suffering.

Living with your parents as an adult would be hard for anyone. Although my dad is adored and loved by mostly everyone (that’s where I get my “charm”), living with him is a while different ball game. Not to mention, in these recent years of his, he’s convinced he is dying. No matter what the doctor’s say, he believes his time is going to be up soon due to Vietnam and his stint in the throes of society so long ago. Sure, he definitely has some pretty serious liver issues which are treatable and he’s on the right meds for but he thinks there’s always “something else going on”. It’s frustrating and difficult and hard to tolerate.

Little did I knew when I made this decision to come home how right it was with the world. Sure, I told myself “everything happens for a reason” and “I’m put where I am supposed to be” but, not only am I here for my career but for my family as well. I never realized how badly they needed me until now. I’m using techniques with them that they used on me growing up. It’s as if we’ve switched positions and I have to teach them things and take them by the hand to encourage them. Sometimes I ask myself “How were they able to teach me this when they’re struggling with it so hard themselves?” This is ok though, the big things like that I seem to be handling pretty well but it’s just all these little things that I struggle with.

My dad announces his arrival into every room even if no one is in it, Sometimes, I stay in my room until I am ready to say “hi” to them because it’s unavoidable and sometimes I’m never ready to say “hi” so, I forego coffee/meals while isolated in a tiny room with white-turned-yellow-from age painted clouds on the ceiling. Forget ever watching a movie without getting interrupted with questions like “Where’s your mother?” “Can I eat your leftovers?” or “Do you know what we’re having for dinner?” I want to scream “I don’t know where mom is! But, guess what? If she isn’t home, she has a cell phone that you know the number to so give her a call and ask!”,  “NO, don’t eat my leftovers!” and “I don’t know, it’s 10 AM!!”

Instead of acting like a child, I’m forcing myself to make list of all the things I love about my parents’ house to help me get me through.

1: If it’s cold, there’s always a fire in the fireplace.

2: Paraffin wax treatments for your hands and feet are always just a “Mom, can I dip?” away.

3: There’s always a lemon with a knife on the counter for water.

4: I like the blankets.

5: Barbie from the Block (our ageless neighbor who is over most nights).

6: A bike is always accessible and ready to ride.

7: The balcony (in the day) and courtyard (at night) when it’s warm.

8: The furniture is cozy.

9: The colors are happy.

10: I like the art.

11: There’s always something new to find (in the attic).

12: All the photos to go through.

13: Dinners with everyone.

14: TCM is one of the main channels.

15: The gym…(that’s more of a love/hate thing)

16: There’s always flax seed, almond meal and good spices.

17: Even though my room is the loudest room in the house and tiny, I still have a room of my own within all this craziness.

18: There’s always something to do and something that needs to be done.

19: LOTS of art supplies.

20: I’m getting to know my mom in a way I never knew her before and I’m grateful for that.

Ahhh, that feels so much better. Namaste.

I think I’m going to go see if my parents want to watch a movie with me.