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Thread: Restoration Saga

  1. #31
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    Default Reconstruction Day 2/Preview of Day 3

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    YESTERDAY

    At 8 a.m., I noticed trucks parked in front of our house. They were an hour early! Oh well, let's get it over with sooner. So, I walked to the front yard, with my mask on, and I noticed that the company name on the trucks did not match the name of the company working on our house. He greeted me, and I said, "Are you here for me?"

    He answered,"No, we're here for this house. I see you have a leak too. So does this house. We're the demolition team." (This is not the Manor, but the neighbor on the other side of me. They had a slab leak some years ago, which flooded out our front yard. The residents are renters for at least 10 years.)

    I shouted back, "Everyone in the neighborhood knows that I have a leak, as the pod on the driveway is an advertisement."

    So, they weren't my crew. They were friendly and wearing masks and distancing from me.

    My crew showed up at 9:30 with the supplies they purchased at Home Depot to finish the drywall in the garage, closets and bathroom. They also had to change the valves to the bathroom sink, because "they are old," he said as he showed them to me compared to the new ones installed today.

    "Everything in this house is old, including me." I said. "So, anything that needs to be replaced, please replace it. Thank you."

    I thank these workers all day long, because I know that they are not earning a ton of money for their hard labor. So far, their work has been very good, to my untrained eye. They were diligent about cleaning up today, including the driveway looking for nails, which I asked them to do this morning. I found a nail on the driveway, before I went to get the van yesterday. I showed it to them this morning, and I explained that if I get a flat tire on the van, I don't have a spare.

    The spare now is our original tire, which had to be replaced by our spare last year or whenever, and I can't go through a flat tire right now. They understood.

    As the day progressed, I just wanted them to be done. I tried to get up and move around. I even used the iPad with ear phones, while I sat on the patio. I keep looking at the clock, calculating how much longer I will have to endure this disruption, wear this mask, not be able to relax, etc.

    Late afternoon, I was watching a movie, while sitting in Jon's recliner in the living room, and a woman walked in through the open garage door to the living room.

    I pulled up my mask, as I do every time any of the workers come into the room or down the stairs, etc. I turned and saw a woman, and she looked at me, and exclaimed, "Who are you?"

    "I'm the owner of this house. I live here. Who are you?" I replied startled.

    "Oh, am I in the wrong house?" She asked.

    "Who are you looking for?"

    She replied with the last name of my neighbor with the leak.

    "Yes, you want to go over there, next door, because obviously, I'm not that person. But, thanks for dropping by."

    The Pod on the driveway is an advertisement!

    After she left, I walked out to the garage to my crew of two, with our masks on, and we laughed about this woman just walking into my home. I told them, "Please don't let any stranger walk into my house again. Of course, you had no way of knowing that she was confused between our two houses. But just peek in the door and ask me if I want a visitor. She scared me!" We laughed. But I was actually serious. The door is open, and anyone could just walk in.

    It seemed like forever, but they finished the drywall. Texture and painting all done in all but the upstairs bathroom. That has to wait until the shower, toilet, vanity is done.

    They left at 5:30. Long day.

    TODAY

    The crew stopped by at 8:30 to take photos of the floors in the bedrooms, as they are going to install them in the closets today. They’re off to Home Depot now to get the flooring and paint for the closets. They will put the closet doors back on.

    They will also hook up my washer and dryer, so that I can start doing laundry. YAY!

    Supervisor is sending me photos via email, so I can choose the shower, vanity and counter top. That work will start next week.

    Three day weekend (hooray!), so they will start again next Tuesday. With any luck we’ll be done by the end of the week.

    I wish that I could take a break from all of this, but I can't. So, I just have to buck up and deal with each day as it comes.
    I love you and pray for you and your loved ones.

    Be good and kind to yourself and stay safe and well.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  3. #32
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    Default Progress and Respite

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    My crew of two arrived early today, and I asked them to give me a few minutes to get dressed. They did.

    They wanted to take photos on their smart phones to try to match our flooring. I knew long ago that this would be impossible, because Jim installed our floors decades ago, and Pergo changes its patterns every few years.

    In our living room, we have a beautiful Pergo floor, the first one Jim installed. I remember the empty living room, and we switched on some music and danced on the new floor.

    Through the many years after that, so many people, who have entered our home have commented on the floor. Pergo stopped making that pattern, or it would be everywhere in our home.

    So the crew today needed to take photos on their phones of the floors to try to replicate them. They did a pretty good job. This is closet space, so I don't really care, because no one is going to see it, except me, and anything is better than the mold and deterioration.

    They hooked up my washer/dryer so I can do laundry this weekend. They finished painting the closets and laying the floors. They were efficient, clean and very friendly and polite.

    I had breakfast and lunch, while they were here. I watched several movies, in Jon's recliner. I sat on the patio, watching the birds bathing in Michael's waterfall/pond and hovering around our back yard.

    I have a 3 day break from construction disruption, which is a blessing.

    Now I am deciding on the bathroom configuration. I think I have the right choices. But I'm going on the basis of photographs and conversations with the construction supervisor.

    Meanwhile, today, we couldn't locate the upstairs bedroom closet doors, and the door to Jon's closet didn't fit, so it needs to be replaced.

    Oh, and I had to call Spectrum this morning, because I couldn't get cable TV to work in the living room, or my "hang out during reconstruction." I got it restored, so that I could watch several movies in the 8 hour work period. All romantic comedies, which I have seen many times before.

    A 3 day weekend for me now, and next week the focus is on the upstairs bathroom, where all of this began.

    I am pleased with the progress and workmanship. I've survived it so far! So, YAY!

    Thank you all for your love, prayers, continuing support and healing energy. I love you and pray for you and your loved ones every day.

    Blessings upon you all ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  5. #33
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    Hi Rose,
    I am so glad that the work is progressing and most of all that everyone on the project is KIND to you. I know you will be so very relieved when it's all done and you have a new bathroom to enjoy but also blessed peace and quiet. Time, space and quiet to grieve, to remember, to savour the love in your family. I'm so glad too that Michael's fountain is working and that the birds have come. These are all good signs of healing. Once a long time ago, I remember wondering about the meaning of life. What is our purpose and why do we have any energy at all to keep going? I thought, "just to put one foot in front of the other. The meaning of life is just in the keeping going." You are doing it and we are all inspired because in your case (as well many others here), it's against all odds. Much love my friend, Donna xoxo
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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  7. #34
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Donna ~

    For me, the meaning of life and our purpose here is to love each other. To do that, it means we have to put one foot in front of the other, because love is dynamic, not static. Persevering is love as a verb. Love propels us, compels us, sustains us, rescues us, empowers us, enlightens us, giving us the strength to put that one foot in front of the other, even when we are weary and weak.

    It's the love surrounding me that allows me to keep moving forward, one step at a time, and even to move too many steps at one time. Jim, Jonathan, and Michael keep me strong, as I feel them so near me. Love never dies. It lives on within us.

    The outpouring of love to me through these trying times lifts me up and keeps me going. I thank you and all of my wonderful friends for loving me and helping me find my way.

    I love you all.

    TODAY

    At 6 a.m., I walked 3/4 mile, and stopped to watch the morning break on the lakes. I encountered two men, who politely distanced from me, instead of expecting me to distance from them. One of them has a dog, who is just beautiful. But, we kept our distance as I admired her and chatted with her owner.

    I placed an Instacart order, and received all but two items 2 hours later. The service has been excellent here recently. My order included paper towels and glad kitchen trash bags, so I was happy to receive them.

    John is my go-to guy for toilet paper, because he's in stores, before they open and run out.

    I made a big brunch, egg white cheese omelet, veggie sausage, seasoned cottage fries, and sliced fresh heirloom tomato.

    I had a shower, when I wanted to have it, not when I had to have it to get ready for the crew invasion.

    And, I've done two loads of laundry. It will be so nice not to have to wear the same clothes for 2-3 days, not knowing when I'll be able to do laundry again. Tomorrow, I wash towels and the futon sheets. I think I'll also Swiffer and vacuum the floors. I'd like it to be clean for a day or so, before next week's adventure begins.

    Thank you so much, Donna, for your continuing love and support, and thank you to all here, for walking beside us these many years. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives and your families. My prayers are with you and your loved ones always.

    I love you!

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  9. #35
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Default Memorial Day

    ((((((Hugs to All))))))~

    MY THREE DAY WEEKEND

    As promised, I cleaned the downstairs floors and the stairs. I couldn't believe what I emptied out of my Dyson stick. Ugh!

    Laundry done, so I have clothes and linens for awhile.

    Paid bills.

    Walked 3/4 mile yesterday and this morning. That will stop, when the workers return tomorrow. I won't have time to get ready, if I include a walk.

    Emailed construction supervisor my choices for shower, vanity, fixtures, countertop, etc. He replied that he'd make sure that I get what I want.

    Tomorrow, a new crew will arrive to re-plumb the upstairs bath and repair the floor in the upstairs bedroom.

    I hope that the bathroom will be completed this week. There are still small things that need to be addressed. But progress is being made. I am grateful.

    I'm eating well, resting in between tasks, sleeping, albeit not soundly.

    MEMORIAL DAY

    On this day, 17 years ago, Michael began his journey back to God's Arms. I remember everyone, who was surrounding his hospital bed, beside us, holding hands, praying for Michael, sharing memories, love, tenderness, and adoration.

    The memories flood over me, and then the memories of Jonathan and Jim, and it is overwhelming.

    This is the day when we honor our heroes.

    While we remember our heroes from the past, let us also remember today's heroes. Those on the front lines fighting to save people from this virus, those who make sure that our store shelves are stocked, those who deliver to us, and everyone, who is working toward a healthier Union.

    Thank you all for your love, prayers, and constant support. You and your loved ones are in my prayers.

    I love you!

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 05-25-2020 at 06:37 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  11. #36
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    Rose I am so happy that you are taking time for yourself and taking care of yourself. Also giving time for love and reflection. That is very important. I am sure once your house is done you will really feel able to give more time for your grief but you are doing wonderfully. Your fortitude is inspiring.

    Lots of love and (((((((safe hugs))))))

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  13. #37
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    Default Love and Light

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Chris ~

    Thank you for your hugs and loving support.

    Unfortunately, I am very used to grieving under difficult circumstances, having lost all of my elders, except for my uncle, who is more like a brother to me. Sadly, he has Alzheimer's and no longer remembers me or our childhood.

    From the moment Jonathan and Michael were diagnosed, and every physician gave me a timeline for their life expectancy from age 2 to age 21, I began preparing myself to lose them. And so many times, they were on the edge, in ICU, on a vent, hovering between life here and the life after. They were here for 32 and 49 years, defying all of the odds against them with such beauty, grace, and courage. They were so loved by everyone, who met them, because they exuded pure love and sweetness.

    I think I began preparing to lose Jim in 2015, when he had a severe RA flare. That's when I began to take over shopping and errands, and everything else, while John joined in to help me with Jonathan. At that time, Jim had a lump on his breast. He had a mammogram, which he said further increased his admiration for women, and we waited for the results. We were so relieved when the results were negative.

    In 2016, he coughed up blood, and an xray showed a mass in his left lung. While we always maintained a positive attitude, we both knew that we needed to be prepared for it to go South at any time. And it did, as my journal of his journey here has revealed.

    Five days after Jon passed, I was in the ER with Jim, and he was knocking on Heaven's door. Jim's nurses held me and cried with me as I told them about Jonathan and wept, "I just can't lose Jim right now. I just can't."

    In the last year since then, we've taken steps backward and forward. We knew that the end was nearing, but we still had hope and prayed for a miracle. Jim was still telling me that he was going to beat it, and we were going to sell our house and buy an RV to travel around the country.

    Today, John called to check in on me and get an update. We talked about Jim and Jon. John said, "The two most amazing men I have ever met. Nothing stood in their way. They never complained. They always had a smile and hug for everyone. And they defied every odd against them over and over."

    So, I cling to that. I give thanks for our 32 years with Michael, our 49 years with Jonathan, and our 28 years with Jim. John said, "Everyone I've known with Stage IV cancer has passed within 6 months of diagnosis. Jimmy lived for 3 and a half years. That is just a testament to his and your determination and love for each other. Just amazing. Everyone in our family says this about you all."

    How grateful and blessed I am that our story, our life, has inspired, helped, guided, informed, enlightened, touched others. As a journalist, teacher, advocate, counselor, I have spent my life listening to people's stories. It's a rich tapestry of experience for me, which has helped me to weave my own tapestry of coping, hoping, and knowing that life goes on, after we leave our Earthly vessel.

    And I am certain that every single one of us here, who have never met in person, will meet when we reunite on The Other Side. Heaven. Nirvana. Bliss. It is all of that and more. And we'll know each other instantly.

    There are no politics, no viruses, no pain, no autoimmune disorders, no neurological disorders ... Free to be who we truly are.

    While we are still here, and when we get there, we have to "Let Our Little Light Shine."

    In loving memory of Jonathan and Michael, who loved The Boss, and Jim, who loved him too ~

    Bruce Springsteen in Dublin ~ "This Little Light of Mine" ~

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0qAYq1GVec

    It is our love and our light, which keeps us strong and sees us through even the most difficult times.

    Let us all keep our love and light shining!

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  15. #38
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Default The Continuing Story

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    These past couple of days have been quite busy, with all of the attention on the bathroom.

    We had to scrap the acrylic shower, because they were all too large for our space. So, I have an acrylic floor, and a tile wall surround.

    This is the tile:

    Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 5.12.26 PM.jpg

    The guys showed it to me before they left. It is beautiful. Looks like marble. The grout will be grey.

    It was installed today by two very nice gentlemen, who worked with only a half hour lunch break from 9 to 5:30. One of the guys cleaned the living room and upstairs landing floors, before they left, as well as the front door, which they used instead of the garage door into the house. I joked, "Hey, would you like to come over once a week to do that? I could use the help." He laughed.

    Long days of constant pounding, sawing, and in and out and in and out a thousand times. It's been breezy here recently, so periodically the garage door slams shut and startles me. I've been sitting on the patio quite often just to escape the commotion.

    Late this afternoon, the waterfall/fountain stopped, and the automatic sprinkler control box stopped. I checked the circuit breakers, and one of them is on off. I figured there was no point in flipping it, until the guys were done. The sawing of tile on the front lawn for 8 1/2 hours may have triggered it. I don't know.

    John will be stopping by soon to check out the work that's been done. I will ask him to help me with the circuit breaker. Not that I need help, just advice. We have several other things to discuss as well.

    The supervisor has been dropping by daily to check on the work and me. Today, he said, "The grout will be tomorrow, then you will have your weekend to rest. I know this has been a long week for you, long days, I understand. Monday, we'll install the cabinet, then paint, then the bathroom floor, then the doors. I think we'll be done by next week."

    Then, he said, "Let's go upstairs and you can see what the tile looks like, as he's installed a few now."

    "Oh, it's beautiful! That looks so elegant! Of course, compared to what was here, anything would look elegant, but this really does. Thank you!"

    He smiled and winked at me. "I told you from the beginning that I would take care of you. I got a great deal on this tile. I knew you'd like it. What color grout do you want?"

    "Color? I thought grout was white."

    "Not any more. How about a nice grey to match the streaks in the tile?"

    "You haven't led me wrong so far, so yes to grey grout." Then, he turned to one of the crew and specified a certain shade of grey.

    "Easier for you to keep clean, and it will really set off the tile. The tile is surrounded by stainless steel." He just keeps smiling at me. He's so cheerful.

    There are two shelves built in for shampoo, shower gel, etc., and I stood in the base yesterday for the crew to determine where I wanted the grab bars and at what height.

    The supervisor chose the fixtures: a stationery and a hand held shower head, an easy to use faucet, and stainless steel grab bars.

    The sink is oval and good sized, and the faucet for it is brushed nickel, and will look great with the rest of the fixtures and be easy for me to use.

    He's listened to me with my needs: easy to use and easy to clean, accessible, safe.

    I'm truly grateful for his efforts. I believe he is sincere, because he heard my life story the first day he arrived to assess the situation and estimate the costs of the repairs. We stood in the garage, and he listened, and he kept saying, "I'm so very sorry for your loss. I promise we will do everything we can to help you."

    Today, the claim adjuster called to tell me how to process the rest of the claim. They have submitted their coverage amount, so now I know what I owe for the upgrades. I think it's fair. I'm interested to know what John thinks about this.

    Here's one of the thousands of ways that I miss Jim. If he was here physically with me, he would be advising me and probably running the show. If he was physically able to do that. So, when I sit on the patio, and think of Jim, Jon and Michael, I ask them to let me know if I'm doing the right thing and making the right decisions. Thus far, I feel their answer is "Yes."

    Oh, the supervisor asked me to check the upstairs bedroom flooring. He pointed out that the joins aren't perfect, because this was a "local" repair, as opposed to replacing the entire floor. So, he motioned to the rug on the side of the bed, and he said, "I would think that when you return to this room, you will pull this rug out to about here," as he moved the rug,"and that will compensate for that glitch."

    "Brilliant! I'm fine with this, because taking out all of this furniture and everything in those drawers and armoire would do me in. I just wanted an easy, reasonable fix to this small area, and it looks fine. I'm okay with it. I knew it wouldn't be perfect. I'm okay with it. Let's keep going."

    Yesterday, I cried buckets. Watching inspiring movies, sitting on the patio, all stifled sobs, but tears flowing unabated.

    My day begins at 5:30 a.m. preparing for all of this, then I have 8 hours of construction, then, I usually debrief posting here, then I eat, and then I fall asleep in Jon's recliner, wake up and go to the futon. And sleep until 4 a.m., if I'm lucky.

    It is 38 days since Jim passed, and this has been my life since then. Michael's 17th Angelversary is fast approaching. And 14 1/2 months since Jon's passing.

    I stepped on the scale yesterday. I've gained 2 lbs in the last 40 days. But I'm eating well. The stress just shreds the weight off of me. Whenever the boys were in ICU, I lost 10 lbs the first week. Of course, I wasn't eating properly during those times, but I am now. I'm being attentive to my nutritional needs, which I sidelined to focus on the nutritional needs of Jim, Jon and Michael.

    I'm taking my multivitamin and D3 and CBD oil. Tomorrow morning, I will walk 3/4 mile, before the grouting begins at 9 a.m. At least these two fellows are nice and cheerful. The crew before them were a little less so. Not rude, just not conversant.

    Up to the minute, that is all of the news on the Restoration Saga. It's like a soap opera on HGTV. Ha! Where are those Property Brothers now, eh?

    I wear a mask for 8 hours a day, and it makes me tired from breathing in my own CO2, which makes me so drowsy by mid afternoon. That's why the patio is my destination.

    I'm used to this, because I wore a mask in ICU with my boys. I'd have to take periodic breaks, without a mask to walk around the unit, or go outside to have my lunch for 20 minutes. I know when I need to have fresh air.

    It's just going on for such a long, long time. I'm looking forward to this being done, so I can move on to the next phase, which will be a period of peace and quiet. I'm not starting anything else for awhile.

    Edited to Add:

    John visited. He flipped the circuit breaker, and the fountain and waterfall returned. I knew to check it, and I knew how to do it after 42 years here. I just needed to see him, to have his support, to have his opinion of the work that has been done and the amount I will be paying for the upgrades.

    First, we checked Jon's closet. "Wow! Look at this!," John walked in and checked it all out. "Look at the baseboards, the floor, the whole thing. This is excellent, Rose!"

    Next, the bathroom. He loves the tile, the stainless steel, the fixtures, and he said, "They're doing a really good job. You can see their handiwork and care. That's why it's an 8 hour a day job for 2 men to do it right."

    Later, John sympathized with me at how difficult all of this has been for me. But, as everyone says to me, "At the end, you are going to have a bathroom just for your needs, and it is going to be beautiful. You deserve this."

    John also feels that my insurance has been generous, and that my payment for these upgrades is fair and reasonable. He has been through this many times with various leaks in his home, so he knows his way around these situations.

    I am reassured, and I feel relieved.

    John knows how to prop me up and keep me going. How blessed I am that he is here for me now. I truly would be lost without him.


    Thank you all for your love, prayers, support, and continuing friendship. I love you all, and I pray for you and your loved ones.

    God Bless You and Keep You Safe and Healthy ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!"
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 05-28-2020 at 07:10 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  17. #39
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Beautiful tile!
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



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  19. #40
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    Default Progress

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    agate ~

    Thank you. Yes, it is beautiful tile, especially now that it's all installed and grouted. Such a drastic change from the former bathroom!

    When I opened the garage door at 9 this morning, 6 men were standing on the driveway. "Good Morning Everyone! Is the entire company working here today?"

    They laughed and one said, "Not yet. We have two more guys coming to finish the tile and bathroom. And the supervisor will be here soon."

    It was very cool, overcast and misting. I thought, "It's raining men!"

    The supervisor arrived, smiling and cheerful as always. "We're going to get a lot done today, Rose!"

    And did they ever!

    Shower is finished. It's gorgeous. Textured sliding doors, hung from the top, as opposed to being attached to the bottom of the shower base. The shower heads are huge! Grab bars in place. The dark grey grout really accentuates the tile. It exceeds all of my expectations.

    The cabinet/vanity was installed. The color is a little more reddish than I expected, but the style is exactly what I wanted. I think the cabinet will look nice with the Pergo flooring, which looks like Saltillo tile and is deep red.

    I summoned Jim, Jon, and Michael, and I could feel their approval. I know Jim would admire the craftsmanship and the hard work these guys put in every day. Jim always deferred to me, if we had any differences about these kinds of things, which was rare. "Whatever you want, I want. A happy wife is a happy life." And, he'd always say, "You made a good choice here, honey. I like it," no matter what "it" was.

    With the grey and red, I thought today that those are OSU's colors. It just turned out that way. I didn't plan it consciously. I'll have to use at least one of Jon's OSU towels in the bathroom.

    The old bathroom had a seaside/coastal theme, which I find relaxing. I'll have to get the vibe from the bathroom, when it's finished as to how I will decorate it.

    I turned the downstairs bathroom from Southwestern to Spa Blue for Jim. Jim enjoyed the change and found it to be more relaxing. I do too. Once the bathroom is fully complete, painted, floor down, sink in, etc., I can start to visualize the colors and art work I want there.

    JON'S CLOSET

    The shelving Jim had installed, which was removed for the renovation, was found in the Pod. Two men worked on its installation. They were so sweet and kind. I stood in the closet, we're all masked, and described the configuration as I remembered it of the shelving. One of the guys had the pre demo photos on his phone, sent by the supervisor.

    They assured me that they would get it right.

    An hour later, I checked in with them, and they asked if what they had done so far was close to the original. It was. It so was. And I flashed back to the memory of Jim installing these wire shelves, and working out the best arrangement to meet Jon's needs. Jim had such a gift of imagination and innovation in his work. He was intuitive about every project.

    Jim constructed ramps for John's dad's wheelchair at their home 2 doors down. Years later, John's brother in law, who is of course family to us too, said to me, "Everything Jim did was well crafted and perfected. I know Jim must feel awful, because he can't finish the projects he started, or start new ones. He has a gift and a keen eye for design."

    When the young men finished installing the shelves, they asked me to check them.

    I looked inside the closet, and tears welled. "You did it! That's exactly how it was! Thank you, thank you so much! You did it!"

    Then, I told them about Jonathan, the closet filled to the brim, getting everything out of there to see how bad the leak was, and how wonderful it is to see it now as it was, when my husband installed this system. I wanted it to be exactly as it was, and it is. I am so grateful.

    THE GARAGE SHELVES

    Also one of Jim's many contributions to our home, the shelves he built in the garage next to the washer and dryer for storage. He also dry walled on side of the garage and built shelves on both sides of the garage. The largest thing in our garage is his saw. I forget what kind of saw it's called, but its big.

    After they finished Jon's closet shelving, they rebuilt the shelving in the garage, in front of the new drywall. They asked me to check it to see if it would meet my needs. It's perfect. The area is smaller than what we had, but Jim built those shelves before we got giant washer and dryers on pedestals. The water valves were difficult to access, and now they are easy to access. But we have less shelving. I'm fine with that.

    It's only me now. I don't need all of that space to store things. Most of what is in the garage now will be disposed of in one way or another. I have to declutter more now than ever, because this is the opportune time to do that.

    That means embracing and parting with memories. But, it makes no sense to bring that clutter back into the garage or the house, since it will eventually have to go somewhere else. Just like the contents of Jon's closet.

    LAUNDRY

    I did a load of my "in case I have to go out in public clothes" today. I got the okay that they wouldn't be turning off the water.

    I took the two pair of jeans, which are too big for me, but the smallest size I have, and I hung them in Jonathan's closet.

    "Mama's here. And she's not giving up."

    When I told the shelving crew my entire story in the garage, they both teared up. The lead crew member was especially compassionate, saying, "I'm so sorry for your loss. I truly am."

    They have to walk past our Sanctuary and see the urns, angels and photographs. They must wonder why there is a gold wrought iron Christmas tree, lit with only the last row of lights, in the room. Now they know.

    I just want them to know that Jim built this house, as it was deteriorating, but then our children needed our full care, so he couldn't complete any of the projects. When I tell them that Jim installed all of the floors, windows, doors by himself, they are obviously impressed.

    MONDAY

    They will descend again to install the countertop and sink in the bathroom, install the floor, paint, finishing painting the garage shelves, install bedroom closet doors, etc.

    I am promised that it will be finished by next week. I cling to that.

    NEIGHBOR CHAT

    So, as I was walking down the driveway after an arduous day, my neighbor from across the street was in the front yard and waved at me. She walked down two houses to the street and approached me.

    I didn't have a mask and neither did she. I said hello and "I'm social distancing from you, because I'm elderly and under a lot of stress."

    I haven't spoken to her, or seen her in over a year.

    "So, what's going on here?" She asked aggressively.

    "Oh, this? Yeah, we had a major water leak from the upstairs shower/bath faucet pipe, and it did a lot of damage. This thing here (pod) contains all of the stuff in the house. But, the tub is gone, and now we have a beautiful walk in shower. Because I'm elderly, which is also why I'm socially distancing from you."

    I wanted to say, "I know you have a camera in your upstairs bedroom, and you can see anything that happens on the street. You saw the paramedics and police here, and probably Jonathan and Jim being placed in the mortuary van. You aren't concerned about me or our family. You're just a nosy busybody. In all of the years you have lived here, have you ever offered to help us in any way? No. Bye."

    Her dog was out roaming around, so happy to be released from the guard dog duty in the backyard. She came up to me several times, and finally I petted her, because she needs love and isn't getting it. I used to talk to her everyday at her backyard gate, when I walked that path. I just can't do it physically now. She knows me, and she's intuitive and knows that I'm suffering.

    Finally, I told her that I have to go get my van and asked her to take her dog back to her yard, so I don't have to worry about her as I'm driving down the street.

    "Have a nice evening," I said as I began my journey toward the van.

    She didn't ask about Jim or Jonathan.

    I don't know why, after all of this time, she was placed in my path today. If it was to test my skills in fending her off, then so be it. I did.

    Feigning interest and concern and patronizing do not go over well with me. And, I was at the end of an 8 1/2 hour day, with 8-9 men in my home during that time dealing with super loud noises, which made me jump, and the pounding, sawing, etc. Even on the patio, I can hear it.

    DEBRIEFING

    So, here I am again, spilling it all out, exhausted, overwhelmed, grateful, sorrowful, and everything in between.

    Thank you for allowing me to share this part of my journey with you. I love you, and I pray for you and your loved ones every day.

    Be strong. Be safe. Wear a mask and gloves.

    Send healing prayers and positive energy around the World. We need it. So very much.

    Thank you.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 05-29-2020 at 06:19 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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