While I was away, mum took a bit of a fall. Not too bad but the knock-on effect means she's now not getting around as well and is finding some basic tasks difficult. I've done her shopping the last two weeks. In fact she's having enough trouble that Sharon and I are planning on moving in with her to look after her.
It should be simple, but in fact it's amazingly complex. Mum's worried she'll have to go in a home, which would mean selling the house. She doesn't want to sell the house, she wants me to have the house, so we have to get the place signed over and give her Life Interest in it, meaning that while we own the joint, we can't kick mum out for as long as she wants to live there. That's fine. Except that stamp duty on the sign-over will be $17,000, thank-you-very-much. But if we don't get it signed over, she'll be fretting about it. So we're looking into that.
Then there's the little things that we've been doing slowly. We got the water pipes fixed. Got a new hot water service. Got the roof done. All the little repairs that were done as we got the money. Now the rest need to happen in a highly compressed time period. Then there's sorting stuff to make room for the missus and I, as well as a dozen other things.
I'm not actually whingeing about this, it's family, that's what you do. You get off your arse and do what you need to. Tiki actually suggested that she shift in with mum so Shaz and I don't have to lose our privacy. It's a remarkably kind offer. Our lines are only linked by the thinest of threads a hell of a long way back, but again, we're family. And her attitude to family is similar to ours.
Instead we'll probably rent our place to her, if she wants it. It means we get a tenant we trust and she can have an affordable rent from landlords who will fix stuff when it goes wrong.
Growing up the thing I knew beyond any doubt is that family will be there for you as much as they can be. It doesn't matter if you haven't be in contact for years. You're family, if you're in trouble, we'll help as much as we can within reason.
That's why I get so confused and frustrated when I read about people who screw over their rellies. It's such an alien concept. "You cheated your siblings out of their share of the inheritance? Why?" "You sold your parents home out from under them? Why?"
It's scary that we need something like Life Interest to protect people from family. Mum would do anything in her power for me, why wouldn't I do the same for her? It's only right.
Of course I hate the idea of shifting in with her. I lived with her through the schizophrenic years and survived that and these days thanks to modern medicine I can actually have a conversation with her. One where she won't tell me she's doing secret mission for the Pope. That's fine but the house still has a lot of memories, some quite awful. I did it when dad died, when one of her sisters worked on actively turning her against me. We eventually got that sorted.
We get on fine but I like being able to wander around in the raw on a hot day, it's one of my little things (so to speak). And Shaz won't walk around in the nude with mum around, so there goes my big summer treat. And I hate the fact that mum needs someone to look after her, because that can't help but suck for her.
But at the end of the day, I'm moving over because it all comes down to one simple thing.
I love my mum.