Last night I was finger-poking a few emails at the kitchen table. Mom was gone and Dad had gone out back to his workshop. I was not surprised to hear his footsteps come in a while later, but was caught off guard by his excited bounding around the kitchen entry way and motioning me to follow him with a big smile on his face. Doing my best to make haste in following him towards the garage door without falling, I still am clueless as to what is going on or what I should be expecting to see.
Dad motions to go down the garage stairs and then does so himself. As he nears the bottom, I start to make my first step and grab the railings out of instinct. “OH WOW!!!”, I blurt out as I look at Dad who is all smiles at the bottom of the stairs. I look back at the new railings (attached to the old ones which are just huge wooden, flat beams). The new smaller, circular handle railings were perfect! Fixing the railings on these stairs has been on the top of my OT list, as for starters…I am serious I have “stairophobia”: my own terminology for, “Mel is afraid of falling down the stairs.” I even freak out on curbs. Going up is not a problem…just down. So the garage stairs ending in concrete…I just loathed.
Back in high school or college, if you asked me where I saw myself in five or ten years, you would never have heard an answer such as, “I can see myself being a disabled and unemployed single adult living with my parents.” I also don’t think I would have ever mentioned living in the Midwest, painting or writing a blog either. Everything I said (because I know I did have the dreams like being married and having a high status corporate job) or would have said–would definitely been the extreme opposite of what I live today. I still have dreams and hopes for the future–they are now just different…and it has been a long road of acceptance to finally realize that home is where I need to be.
After my first DVT, I moved back in with my parents: and I was NOT co0l with the situation. I tried everything to help my helpless case but to no avail. After a few months, I decided that if this was going to be “home” until I bounced back on my feet, then I had t0 make my room as “my room.” We got my bed in and Mom helped me arrange so I had a bookshelf. It felt more cozy and life went on…about the time I have a few good possible apartments to tour, my second DVT hits. It all went down from there. It wasn’t until June of this year that I talked with my Dad: “I guess I should stop apartment hunting, huh?” One look from him confirmed my answer and somehow that is when full acceptance of “living at home” settled in…and I had a peace about the situation.
The typhoon that recently struck the Philippines, leaving horrific conditions and deaths, has been on my mind and in my prayers for those it has affected…for those who lost everything that was considered “home.” My heart goes out to them and it has caused me to see, yet again, the many blessings that flow into my life each day. I have never experienced a typhoon or hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake, robbery or forced to leave my home. The most I deal with is the privacy boundary line between my parents and myself–but to scale of the others, it seems so small.
As I made my decision about no more chemo and putting the AFO braces on hold, I mentioned to my Mom that I just wanted to live with no extraness until that was no longer possible (i.e. when I really can’t drive on my own, need OT help in getting a shower or having to use a wheelchair.) As I continued to talk, I got some tears, but was not sad. They were reaffirming tears: My physical body is temporary, just like this home in which I live…it will one day be made new. I have accepted that just as I accepted the fact I know live with my parents. The future is unstable–ask me where I see myself in five or ten years and I think you would just get a blank stare. I don’t know my future plans, but I know where I am headed–where my real home is…and that gives me hope. Yet another reason to have a heart filled with thankfulness.
Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. You know where I am going and how to get there.
John 14:1-4 (The Voice)