“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
– Helen Keller
Looking back over the past couple of years, I realize how many life changes have occurred in Jim’s and my lives
Undoubtedly, most families reach points in their lives when unexpected obstacles are thrown in our paths to deal with as best we can. The obstacles that Jim and I are dealing with are no exceptions, certainly, but I think that few of us see these things coming until they are in front of us and we are left to figure out a way to deal with them.
Considering the mountainous health, emotional and/or financial issues facing so many others, our somewhat “hilly” ones cannot compare; but they have caused us to step back, take stock, change our course and move on in order to keep from stagnating in self-doubt or self-pity.
We’ve found that adopting the adage, “Life is an adventure” has proven beneficial to us. This past year, we’ve worked through Jim’s health and mobility issues by seeking out ways of allowing him to continue to function despite the pain he deals with each day – first canes, then a walker or his scooter.
He finds ways that tend to ease the pain by crossing his legs while sitting down and having a recliner that helps him into a standing position. He’s willing to try various treatments recommended by his doctors – physical therapy, epidural shots (which have worked for short periods) and now a back surgery scheduled for Wednesday.
Just when we began thinking that we were about to reach the top of our first “hill,” however, we found another looming right behind it. I discovered a little water leak around one of the large windows in our family room. When I found water pooling on the ledge under the window during rainy days, I figured that the caulking needed to be reapplied. I didn’t give it the concern I knew I should have at the time because my focus was elsewhere, and I just kept wiping up the water until I could hire someone.
When the little bit of water became a lot of water requiring bath towels to contain it, though, I knew we had a much bigger problem. We called a contractor to assess what needed to be done and learned that we had a major problem. Our roof had begun leaking and the water had gone down into the walls around windows, especially along the back of our house.
A call to our insurance company comforted us in that our homeowners policy would cover all repairs after the deductible. The contractor hired by the insurance company immediately covered our roof with plastic to keep rain from getting in.
We are now living in a house with huge zippered, clear plastic tents surrounding the affected walls of five rooms while huge moisture-extraction fans are running night and day to remove the moisture from our walls and ceilings. The drywall has been cut away on those same walls and ceilings and the wet insulation taken out. The contents of those rooms are filling the living room and all but a pathway through our dining room while work is being done.
We are sharing the kitchen and our master suite (which includes my computer room) with our cats and dogs, who are adapting to this new adventure better than I thought they would.
Our living room looks like a hoarder’s house; the fans are loud, our floors have power cords and moisture tubes (taking extracted water to our sinks) taped-down and criss-crossing the floors, and our space is very limited.
But hey! Life is an adventure, isn’t it? We have our own little hideaway in our bedroom, bathroom and computer room, which are untouched, and Jim has a small space carved out in our tented family room so he can watch the continuous programs on his big-screen TV in his recliner.
We’re doing okay, and both of us are just thankful that we will soon have our home back like new, and praying that Jim’s surgery will relieve his pain.
By then, maybe we’ll be able to claim at least two of those hills in our life’s adventure.
“For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.”
– Jean-Paul Sartre
Pat can be reached at her website: allthingslorane.com.