Monday, 7 April 2014

A Spring Of New Hope

There is a calm quiescence about my apartment this morning, as if the air itself knows that there are no nails to be pounded, no wood to be cut, no drills to drive, no screws to drive in. The furniture seems to host an anthropomorphized gratitude that no construction dust is to fall on it today, the walls seeming stately and reposed, confident in the knowledge that the assault of tools is complete. This peace, interpreted more in me than in the inanimate around me, assumes a mantle in ether, weightless, lifting the oppressiveness of dramatic change and endless effort.

It's not that everything is done. There are still baseboards to paint, patches of wall where gyproc was refinished that need painting as well. There is still a case moulding on the inside of one bedroom door needing to be cut, installed and painted. There are myriad minor repairs, nicks in walls, spots on the floor, all needing touching up or cleaning. Yet none of these seems urgent this morning, none of them is demanding anything from me.

I am expecting no people to come today to do that which I can no longer do. Jim has gone home and though we have simply shoved all the tools and detritus into the spare bedroom, there is a door I can close, pretending that the beast inside that room is caged and I am safe. The sub-trades have all come and gone, their work, if not perfect, at least complete. My friends, blessed as I am with such good ones and so many, have all been, seen, and left things clean. My neighbours have had their chance to inspect, to see what we have wrought with all the "sturm und drang" over the last 12 weeks.

Now I get to sit, to take time and enjoy what has been given to me. One of my friends said to me yesterday that she thought the stress of renovations had taken a lot out of me, more than financial cost but emotional and even physical cost. It is interesting to note that the rapid progression of the loss of my legs last year took place in the midst of the highest emotional stress of my divorce, and that the rapid loss of strength in my arms has occurred over the last three months, in the same time window of these very stressful but necessary renovations. I cannot claim causation, it is an interesting correlation.

My neurologists, all five of them, agree that stress increases the progression of ALS. Now that this stress is done, that peace has returned to my home, I hope my body takes the hint and settles down for a while. It will be a good period of calm, a pleasant spring of new hope.

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