Daniel’s mother was happy with the idea of having someone come to live closer to her and overjoyed that her family were all so thoughtful and caring. Over the next week there were a number of family conferences via phone and text. So many, that Beryl became confused as to how this would be resolved. She didn’t mind who came to support her, she just wanted them to sort it out.
Over one of their family dinner meetings Daniel told his family of the discussions with his mother. “Kids, I’ve talked to your Gran and also to Jason and Colleen and we’ve all agreed on who will go to live with Gran.”
“So who will it be?” asked Kevin hopefully.
“It will be Jason and Colleen.”
“Oh the favourite son wins again.” protested Kevin.
“It makes more sense Kevin.”
“Why?” he grumped.
“Firstly you are too young Kevin, and your Mum feels that Chris shouldn’t take on that responsibility while she is studying. If it’s Jason and Colleen, they can give up their flat and save rent. Also, Colleen is a nurse and can help Gran if she does need extra support.”
“I think that’s a very good arrangement.” agreed Jenny “It suits everyone’s needs.”
“Except mine.” said a disappointed Kevin.
“But we will need your help Kevin. I’ve a very important task for you.”
“Yeah, what can I do?”
“That little flat hasn’t been used in years. It’s dirty, full of junk and the last time it was painted was when you were about seven and you insisted that we all draw something on the walls.”
“Yeah, I remember that, Gramps said we could paint whatever we liked. He was great; I miss him lots.”
“I know Son, we all do. But back to the job; I think it would be great if you would take on the task of cleaning out the flat and re-painting it. Are you up for it?”
Kevin thought for a few moments, then “Sure, can’t wait to get started. Chris, can you help me with some paint colour ideas and Mum you can do curtains and stuff and Dad you can take the old crap to the tip.”
“Well, we seem to have us a project manager.” said Daniel.
“Yeah just like Grand Designs.” said Kevin proudly. “Hey that gives me an idea. How about we document this, I can put it on my channel and Gran will have a record to keep.”
“That’s my son.” said a proud mother.
A few days later Daniel and Kevin went over to the flat and started removing what wasn’t needed. If in doubt about the value of anything they tapped on the kitchen window and Beryl would take a look through the window. Thumbs up, it went to the garage, thumbs down, it was added to the pile of rubbish that would later be taken to the tip. The boys managed to clear the small flat in one morning so they waved goodbye to Gran and went home.
The following morning Daniel’s mother called to tell him she had been into the flat and was pleased with their work.
“You boys have certainly been busy. I had forgotten what that place looked like. I haven’t been in there for years. Your father kept so much stuff it was impossible to get beyond the door.”
“Yeah, he was a bit of a hoarder. I doubt he even knew what was in there.”
“I want to talk to you about this plan Son.”
“You haven’t had second thoughts, have you Mum?”
“Well...sort of. I...”
Daniel interrupted. “Mum we agreed this was the best way to go.”
“Daniel, you are a physiologist, are you not?”
“Well, physiologists are supposed to be good listeners, so listen.”
“What I want to tell you is that I still love the idea of Jason and Colleen coming to live here, but I want them to have the house and I will move into the flat. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life cleaning this big place. The little flat will be just perfect for one. They can make better use of a bigger house to entertain family and friends, when we can do that again and besides I might become a great grandmother in a year or so and they will need the extra space. It makes much more sense Daniel.”
“I see your point Mum, but are you sure you won’t feel like you are being pushed out of your home?”
“It’s my decision Daniel, so that’s the way it will be.”
“OK, as long as you are happy with that. Do you want me to tell Jason and Colleen?”
“No, I think I might enjoy doing that. I’ll give them a call when we finish talking.”
“I think that’s a great idea Mum. I’ll let you go so you can tell them the good news.”
“Oh one more thing before you go. That wall where the kids did all those drawings years ago, I’d like to keep it as it is. Don’t paint over it; there are lots of nice memories there.”