When D was in hospice last summer, he asked me to wait for a year before I made any major decisions or changes in my life. I've spent a year trying to decide if I should stay in our home or fix it up and sell it. My compromise has been to fix it up and stay. For now.
We bought this house almost 12 years ago. It was near the kids' schools, our church and my teaching position. But the desire of our hearts was to buy a little bungalow in a nearby town, and when the nest was empty to fix it up for the long years of retirement. We considered this our "practice bungalow", and we set about remodeling every square inch of it.
I've been working furiously (make that mostly hiring people who work furiously) to finish the renovations this summer before school starts. And today? (Drum roll, please!) All the major projects are finished! The bathrooms are both redone, there are new windows throughout the house, the attic is newly insulated to help keep the electric bill down in Texas' summer (please, God.) Today the bricklayers finished bricking my mailbox and surprised me with planters on either side. I love it! (And so did the mail carrier who actually put the mail in the old box which was laying on the ground. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat...nor mail boxes leaning sideways stop these couriers from their appointed rounds...)
Tonight as it was getting dark, I stood out at the street to admire all the progress that has been made over the last year. The new front door D had chosen is now installed and painted the red color he picked out. New landscaping, windows, and a paint job that is a much lighter color. (I've had several friends come to the front door who thought they were at the wrong house because of all the changes. I consider that a compliment of the highest order.) The house looks new and fresh. If I decide to sell, it is ready. If I decide to stay, it is beautiful.
The only thing that is missing is you, D. I finished all the projects just like we had planned them. You would have loved the way it all came together.
But somehow? I think you know that.