The first evening in Susan’s home
With dinner finished, the dishes were washed and put back into the cupboards. Kylie’s bedtime was soon after, and Kathy put her down for the evening. Tom, Kathy, and Susan planned a quiet rest of the evening to reconnect. Naturally, talking about the new living arrangements and laying down the ground rules was first on their list of things to discuss.
Tom started. “Okay, Susan, let’s talk honestly about the past. You do know why we had to take a hot minute to even consider moving in with you, right?”
“Of course, Tom,” she responded empathetically. “I’m not proud of the things that happened in the past, or the things I’ve said and done. Those were some pretty dark days for me. I totally understood your hesitation at the beginning; that’s why I didn’t push. Honestly, if the shoe were on the other foot, I’m not sure I would have agreed to move in with you if your past was as shady as mine was then.” Susan gave them a look that reflected a genuineness they’d not ever seen before. Tom and Kathy were relieved to see it.
“Okay, I hope you understand it’s not our intention to shame you for that, but we do want to make sure that you understand that Kathy, myself, and Kylie are in a very vulnerable position right now. Our lives depend on you right now on so many levels; we’re just worried that things might all come crashing down around us again. We don’t want that to happen.”
“Oh my gosh, Tom! Yes, of course, I get it! 100% understood! Honestly, I would never even offered if I didn’t think this would be a good thing for you, your family, and me!” Susan looked at Tom and Kathy sincerely with her hands crossing her heart. She almost looked like she was on the verge of tears, but she held it back. “You know that I’ve been to hell and back, and believe me, I do not intend ever to take up residence there again!”
Kathy took Susan’s hands in hers and smiled sincerely. “You have given us a precious gift, Susan. One that has saved us from despair, and for that, Tom and I are genuinely grateful. So, let’s agree that all of us came to the right decision and talk about each other’s needs in this new living arrangement,” she said with a big grin.
And with that, they set about laying out how to best co-exist in this setting, not having had such a close connection for so many years. Of course, Susan, Tom, and Kathy realized it would take a little time to acclimate to one other. They put their heads together for the next few hours and locked down rules to respect each other’s privacy. The goal was for everyone to feel comfortable as well as happy in this situation.
For now, all the Grants were relaxed, and their future together looked hopeful.
TO BE CONTINUED ON THURSDAY…