I thought I was doing well. Steve has now been gone for six months and I thought I might have reached a point of rejoining the real world. I thought…
Our trip to NYC was great, I did it and enjoyed it in spite of myself. Then Christmas, that was a little tougher, but I was surrounded by our family and Steve was so with us in spirit. We were all able to talk so lovingly of our time and memories of him and of each other that though it was difficult, t was a very sweet time for all of us.
Lastly Isreal. I am still processing the experiences I had there, but I came home realizing that, I can travel without Steve and I can physically, mentally and emotionally do it and have fun...that was a huge discovery for me.
So, here I am today, knee deep in packing up the Bretford Court house, ugh. Much of my days are filled attending to details of the Pinoak Knoll reconstruction, which should wrap up end of February. The buyers of our Bretford Court home are busy deciding all the changes they are going to make and I have given them free reign to come and go as necessary to get bids and try to help make their transition easy. So life is hectic, but, I’m doing it and feeling like, “Hmm, I think I have turned some 6 month corner in this grieving process and I am able to act human again.”
Well, shut the front door. Literally. Everything is humming along, I’m feeling fairly normal, busy, hectic, stewing...and wham, that craziness hit me like a huge door slamming in my face and I didn’t even realize it for a few days.
They say crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, they think they’re normal and everyone else is off balance. Well, say I’m crazy! It happened so innocently, so sneakily. One of the buyers of the Bretford Court house just off handedly mentioned that in all the remodeling they were planning to do to the house... my house, the home that Steve and I thought about, carefully planned, and watched grow to fruition into the home that we so loved...I’m off course right? I’m so thankful our house sold so effortlessly. Of course, new owners want to make any house theirs by making changes. Naturally, I am excited to see all the incredible things they will do to make the house really fabulous...but the day that the off handed remark was made, well insanity set into the depths of my being.
“We are going to replace the front door,” Brad remarked without a second thought, and why should he have second thoughts about replacing a door?
“You are getting rid of that front door?” I asked or maybe reprimanded this poor kind man.
This was “our door.” Steve and I had designed it and had it hand crafted by a wonderful Polish immigrant who now lives in San Antonio (he probably walked 5 miles in the snow to school everyday). Steve had refinished the outside wood just before the recurrence of his tumor. It was the front door of our home and I hadn’t turned any corner, I wasn’t through this grieving process, I was knee deep and wallowing in my loss.
The only problem is, I didn’t know I was crazy. All I knew was, if they were getting rid of our front door, I wanted it for the Pinoak Knoll house. I started measuring, pacing, thinking, could it work? Was it possible? I mentioned it to Kris (my contractor, a saint) and I mentioned it very casually, like…”Hey Kris, I might want to use the front door of my old house in place of this one…do you think that’s possible?” Kris always answers, “Anything’s possible.” Kris hadn’t seen my door yet.
My Bretford Court door is 8 feet tall and 48 inches wide. My Pinoak Knoll door...isn’t. This door is 7 feet tall and 38 inches wide, plus it has sidelights and very large transom windows above it. Not to mention the old door opens the wrong way, it would have to be dismantled, crated and brought to the new house. The entire doorway would need to be reconstructed and brick would need to be found to match a 20 year old house...the list went on and on.
I really wanted that door. It was a part of “us” I was willing to do anything to make sure I held on to our door. So I kept talking, I talked to the new owners to find out when their new door would be ready. I talked to our builder to see if he could install a temporary door until their new door was ready. Jerry said he could board up the entry for them until their door was delivered. I didn’t see a problem with that. Tears begin to well up in my eyes when I spoke of wanting to take our door, I just knew Pinoak Knoll wouldn’t feel like my house without “our door.”
Grief is insanity. It comes and slams into you like the wind blows a door shut right in your face. It took me about 8 hours to process that this wasn’t about losing our front door, no not at all. This was all about closing this door of our life and moving on to a new door of my own. No, I don’t think 6 months of living without Steve has found me so mightily independent and adjusted. Instead I think, as much as I continue to miss him and wish that he could walk through that front door just one more time...he won’t, and no door will make that better, or ease the pain or take away this grief.
I woke up today and called Brad and told him the door was no longer an issue. I told Kris, the contractor I had given up on my crazy idea, he smiled and nodded knowing.
When I leave this home of ours, the last thing I will do is walk out the front door. I will close it gently, press my hand against it’s warm wood and I will thank God that I was given the opportunity to live inside such a home as this with a man I love more than anything in the world.
With much love,
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.