On Saturday Karl moved most of his things to his house. He hasn’t closed on it yet but is scheduled to do that early next week. The current owner offered that Karl could move now if he wanted. Karl had enough help free to tackle the job so he moved.
The funny thing is he got there and realized he didn’t have water. So he ended up back at my house to shower. I, of course, had to tease him that missed me so much that he had to come back home.
I know it’s so silly…but as happy as I am for him, I’m a little sad. I’m going to miss my roommate. Karl is such a good guy. He’d do anything for me. For those of you who aren’t long-time blog readers, let me catch you up a little on how Karl ended up living at my house.
In August of 2018, Karl left Iowa and headed to Texas to set his path down the teaching career. This is a picture of him the day he got his job…all business suit and slippers. It was a video interview.
Karl made it back for Thanksgiving. He found Carver had grown.
When he was home he scrambled to spend time with all of us. Here we are on one of the many times he left…
I’m smiling in the photo but trust me, moments later I was crying. I was missing my boy already and he was only blocks away from my house headed towards Texas.
In January, we had to make a call to Karl to tell him, Kramer, my husband, his Dad, had lung cancer. Immediately Karl offered to come home. We said no. There was nothing he could do. At that time, we thought we’d have a happy ending to it all.
At this time I promised Karl that if the time came that he needed to come home, I would tell him he needed to come.
Time and time again through Kramer’s treatments and surgery Karl offered to come home. I said wait until spring break. Karl took a couple of extra days off then. It was so nice seeing him.
At the end of April, we found out that Kramer was worse. The cancer had moved to his bones. Kramer broke his neck. We found out that cancer was treatable but not curable. Again Karl, said, “Mom, I can come home.” Again I made the promise that if the time came, I’d tell him it was time to come home.
The Tuesday after Memorial Day Kramer and I went to his doctor appointment that included a PET scan. We found out he was loaded with cancer. He was given a few weeks to live. On the way home, we started calling the kids. I didn’t call Karl. He was teaching kids and he needed to finish his day.
I can remember exactly where I was when I made the call. I was alone outside on the back patio. I remember exactly how the call went….”Karl, this is mom. Remember I promised you that I would tell you when it was time to come home? Well, it’s time.” I talked to him. There were a few days left before school got out. I encouraged him to stay and finish up. About 25 hours later, Karl was on my doorstep. He was home.
In the end, I’m thankful he came right away. If he had waited until the end of the school year, I don’t think he’d have seen Kramer before he passed.
From then until now, Karl just stayed. I told him he could go. I told him I’d be fine. I told him to go back to Texas if he wanted. I told him he could stay. I told him to do whatever he wanted. Karl stayed.
He didn’t make the full decision to stay in Iowa until July when he took a job in the area as a translator. At the time he thought he’d stay there but thought he’d try to go back to teaching. But, after some time he learned that he prefers what he’s doing.
I tried so hard to keep my mouth shut. I longed for him to stay in the area but I never tried to push my wishes on him. He is an adult. He needs to make his own decisions. I won’t be here forever. He should not make life decisions based on me.
When he started looking for a house, I was thrilled! So thrilled.
I’m so happy that he is only going to be four houses away….but I will also admit, that even though he’s going to be that far away, I still have tears in my eyes as I write this.
I am thankful for Karl. He has been a balm to my soul. He’s let me cry when I needed to. He’s let me talk about Kramer. He’s helped me so much along the way. He’s listened to me. He’s helped me problem solve things. He’s just a fantastic guy.
In our family, Karl has long been the gentle soul. We all tease that he is Switzerland. He stays neutral in any family argument. He loves us all unconditionally. He’s always the person we all talk to with problems. Karl is so good at listening and offering a suggestion but never be offended if we don’t go with his suggestion. He doesn’t complain or bulk about doing some of the icky jobs. If anyone needs anything, Karl steps in and helps…even changing diapers.
The other kids laugh and say of all of the kids, Karl is the only one I could have lived with. They are so right. Karl and I click in a way that it’s okay for us to live together.
But…my roommate is going down the road-just four houses away but can you believe I still know I’ll really miss him? A couple of times when we talked about it, I got teary-eyed. Karl has assured me that he’ll be by often. We’ll still order the chicken and rib special from the bar on Wednesday nights. He’ll happily go on a walk with me and Rosie. He’ll happily come and help clean up leftovers.
I’ve been so blessed to have Karl here almost two years. He’s really helped me move into the title of widow. He’s been such a huge support to me. I love that all I have to say to him is “Karl, it’s time to come home” and he will be there for me. No questions asked. I’m so thankful that he doesn’t have to make a 19-hour drive to get here.