Saturday, 8 March 2014

For These Things, I Give Thanks

It has been about three weeks now that I have been without a toilet; that situation was remedied late last night. I am in the midst of a very expensive apartment renovation to make it more accessible, more wheelchair friendly. I am doing this so that the last year or two of my life will be easier, so that I can continue to live here, to live independently.

The progress for the renovations has been slow. My brother Jim has been driving from Edmonton every week, a three hour drive there and three hours back, to help with the work involved in moving walls, removing old fixtures, putting up new walls, installing wider doors and a great many other tasks that are a part of this work. We have plumbers coming and going, tilers working away, electricians coming in and out, and flooring specialists soon to be on the list.

Fortunately the work is on the downslope, the majority of the major construction complete. We are now moving to the finishing stage. This means putting up sheetrock, filling and sanding, and then painting. After that we put on the final plumbing and electrical fixtures, then we do the finishing touches including putting up closet doors and shelves. It is a lot of work, and it would have been incredibly difficult without the help of my brother and the friends who have shown up to help, to volunteer their time to make this all work.

The frustrating part of all of this is that even after the expenses of this renovation there will still be things undone, things that could be done. For example, we simply don't have enough time for Jim to do my hallway closet, so my freezer remains in my dining room and coats get hung in the spare bedroom. The original plan called for this, but Jim has a life to live and he has already given me nearly three months of it. Hiring a contractor to do this small part of the work will likely cost as much as $3,500, so it remains undone.

My kitchen is still a "standard" kitchen; I wanted to make some changes to it but I simply cannot afford it. I wanted to have lowered counters and a lowered sink, allowing me to work in the kitchen. I wanted a stove with front controls, making it safer and easier to cook, but that is another $2,000 I simply don't have. The whole kitchen renovation would cost somewhere in the realm of another $15,000, a sum that is too out of reach for me.

Yet with all this, I am extremely fortunate and grateful. I am grateful for what I have, fortunate to have an accessible bathroom with a wheel-in shower and handicapped toilet. I am fortunate to have wheelchair width doors. I am fortunate to have a wider hallway with easy access to my bedroom. I am fortunate to have, soon enough, laminate floors that make it easier for me to wheel myself about. I am fortunate to have people who will help me with this transition, who will help with the work and give freely of their time.

For these things, I give thanks.

1 comment:

  1. You love to cook for your friends and family so maybe a fundraiser would be in order for your kitchen at least, or the Go Fund Me idea is still an option.These may not be neccessities of life, but they are certainly "quality of life" issues.