Saturday, September 27, 2014

It starts with this

It starts with this,
this demolishing of our hall bathroom. At least that's where it becomes real.
In fact, we've been talking about it for a long time before Beve picked up his screw driver at 7:30 this morning to begin the demo. I suppose we've had the conversation a dozen times in the last half decade. A dozen times we've walked up and down the hallway of our house, looking at the bathroom, at its lay-out, tried to figure out how it could work. A dozen times we've walked away. Or I've shied away. That's the truth. I've been the one to pull us back from where this picture is taken, staring at a gutted bathroom.

You see, this gutted bathroom is just the largest part of the re-model we are doing so that we can bring Grampie here to live. Yes, I just wrote that. And I mean it. Along with the bathroom, we're widening several doorways, building a ramp, and getting the house ADA-approved for a man in a wheelchair. We have a contractor in charge of all of the remodel (of course, a friend's husband--we're like that!). We've met with social workers, people who work with in-home care-givers (like us), we have lists of agencies who provide nursing services which we'll need when we get him here. But the sledge hammer was moving all day long. Dust was flying. Beve and a friend (with help from J) tore into that room like this was the last day on earth.

And that's the way I've been looking at all of this too. For years I've had a pit in my stomach thinking of having Grampie here, worrying about MY ability to care for him. But about a month ago I realized we are looking at his last days on earth. Literally any day could be his last, and I don't use the word literally unless I mean it literally! And when I think about Beve and our beloved Grampie, I think I'd like to have him spend those last days with us...if we can. And God began to whisper that he should come home to die. You should have seen Beve's face light up the day I suggested it. It was what he's been waiting for, I think. Praying for me to be ready for this.

But we're honest.
That is to say, we're going to a whole lot of trouble, a whole lot of expense and it may be that we can't do it for long. Or Grampie doesn't do well here. Or doesn't live long. There are a whole lot of possibilities when making plans about a man who is almost 91 years old.

What we believe firmly, though, is that God is calling us to this. This is what we are meant to do for this next season, however long that will be. I can tell clearly that He's in it because even as Beve feels some nerves, I do not. I feel calm and at peace. It's the peace that transcends human understanding, of course, because all the things I've worried about in the past haven't changed. I'm not suddenly more agile, capable of lifting and caring for a 6'8" dead-weight of a man. But I am certain that what we'll need will be worked out in its time.

Yes, we'll get tired, and yes, it will be hard on us. But that's okay too. Doing what He calls us to do doesn't mean life is easy. We're looking to live like it's our last day with Grampie--every day. And that will be sweet.

So, part one, remodel.
Here we come.

All sorts of things ready to go to the local RE-(cycling) store. Do you need any good lumber?


M said...

Best of luck with the remodeling! Wish I was there to do some destroying (and re-planting)!!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

What a brave decision you have made, and I know you have not done it without a lot of prayer and supplication. But I am certain you will not regret your decision. There is something wonderful about allowing our loved ones to live out their last days in the presence of the ones who love them most. My 91 yr. old mother in law just moved in with my husband's brother and family, which includes two children 12 & 10. I believe it is the best thing for her, and also for those children. But it does come with a up some freedoms and privacy and energy...but the sacrifice is well worth it when you see the relief and thankfulness in the eyes of the one who doesn't want to be left alone.
Praying for you ALL. May your time together be sweet.