Thursday, September 17, 2009

Life is a House

There are people from my church who are doing prep work on my house to get it ready to be painted. My part of the job (besides being blessed), is to choose paint colors.

Last May, D and I had picked out paint colors and a new front door at Lowe's. We always loved puttering around at that store and making grand plans for our home. D was not a Home Depot man, and it was a happy day when his favorite home improvement store opened right across the highway from the Depot. I think he may have looked toward the orange sign and gloated a little. We spent a lot of happy time under the blue Lowe's sign. The color D wanted to paint the new front door? Red. RED? I got on board, but life came at us quickly this summer, and the purchase was not made.

Fast forward to this week and I'm back at Lowe's looking at the same door and the same paint aisle. And I'm doing the ugly cry. Right there in public. You really never know where grief will come knocking. Moments earlier I was as sane as could be, but the sight of the red door on aisle 12 just took the wind out of me. And I exited the building. Quickly.

Last night, my loyal friend and former college roommate, MA, accompanied me back to Lowe's to finish the purchase. She has a degree in interior design, so she has a great color sense. And she's been my friend for 34 years, so she knows how to help me through the valleys filled with shadows in life.

We picked the same door and a red paint that D would have loved. We picked the paint and trim color that is sure to make the house "pop", in the HGTV vernacular. She even helped me chose an area rug for D's office. The hardwood floors are a little worn from all the years of the walker scratching over it. His office is the first room I really want to fix up. He converted it into a wonderfully peaceful room that is full of oak woodwork and his favorite books.

When we found out D only had a few months to live, he began giving me advice for the future. He asked me to not make any decisions for a year. I'm sure I've mentioned that a time or twenty, because I think about it often. My first big decision at the end of this time period is: do I keep the big house I'm rambling around in, or do I downsize to something smaller? At this point, I am not actually sure what I will do next year. But for now? I want to finish all the projects D was not able to finish. It's just what I need to do.

So, if you are driving down my street in the next month or so, it should be easy to find my house. It will be the one that has been lovingly painted by members of my church, with colors that "pop". It will have a beautiful red front door. And there will be works in progress inside that are helping me fill in some gaps in this journey of life. And I hope that the same thing will be happening in my heart.

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