Home Depot

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com
I came home from the hospital to a house full of renovations stuck in the living room facing my front door. I could not even make it upstairs to my bedroom, to my own bed. Every time I heard a knock at the door; I did not know if the person on the other side was a nurse, or a physical therapist, or a contractor.

I got used to strange men invading my space, and they got used to me to the point that I might as well have been wall paper, another fixture of the house that they were fixing up. They got used to my wheelchair and my hospital bed. They even got used to my physical therapist coming in and out though admittedly that took some getting used to. Men do not like to idly sit by if they detect a hint of pain, and healing is slow and torturous much like renovating a house.

When you do finish, there are worries. Will the pipe burst again? Will I stroke out again? Is this the one that will kill me? It’s a valid question, and you can do everything right, and everything can still go wrong. No one knows the future. When God calls you home, when nature sweeps your house under a flash flood, no amount of assurances, can ease the grief of losing everything you hold dear.

After the dust settles, and the workers are gone, and the new wallpaper is up, or better yet, shiplap because wallpaper is so 1980’s, and you are starting fresh again. You have to start living, appreciating what was, and what now is. You have to live in that house and that new body. You have to make a new life, have to look everyday in the mirror at the body that survived in the house that was remade. There were so many rapid changes. Will I and the house hold up to the test of time? That is the question that haunts me in the back of my mind where my blood clot used to reside.

All I know is this that houses are meant to be lived in and lives are meant to be lived out. I have the good fortune for a second, third, fourth chance I may not get another. The pressure to live it out is so intense. When time is borrowed; time is cherished. I’m scared of losing more time. I’m scared of wasting it on minutia that in the long run does not matter. Scared I missed too much time recovering as I watched too many of my loved ones live their lives and do what I am not able as I recover. I want to live! I want to enjoy life! Every moment!

My vision of the ideal life may change. It may be forced to change as much as my home was renovated. Those who have thwarted death as many times as I have know how to adapt. Know how to shed their skin, to shed organs, shed blood, shed tears, shed whatever we need to survive. We are survivors after all.

At some point, we would like to come home. Let me rephrase. At some point, we would like to feel at home in our houses and our bodies. To feel at ease and warm as if under the covers of our childhood beds. To feel the smile that’s so familiar from that story heard one too many times at the family dinner table. To feel like the door can be shut and our breath can be caught. To just breathe. To feel your breath in and out, in and out again. How glorious are your Lungs?! To trust that they will work and will keep working. What a glorious day when I can trust my body again. When I can come home to my body. Be one with my body whether it works properly or not.


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