I think I need an umbrella.
A few weeks ago Andrew noticed that a baseboard in our family room seemed to be pulling away from the wall. A plumber was called and confirmed that we indeed had our third leak in our copper pipes in the past seven months. The first two had been handled with a minimum of mess and chaos. But this one was different. This was a leak in the pipe in the concrete slab under the house.
The first people to arrive were the dry-out crew, who set up dehumidifiers and air scrubbers, just in case a nasty mold had begun to grow. Next came the demo crew, who started opening walls where the water had begun to flow. The custom hardwood floor in the living room has been removed, leaving the bare, cold concrete exposed. The copper re-pipe team has toured the house, ready to start their job of replacing all of the copper pipes this week. They told me the house would look like Swiss cheese until all the holes could be patched. As I said in a previous post, it’s a big house, so this is no small job. The living room furniture is living in the dining room for the time being. Add to the list the electrician, who had to be called to repair a circuit that was blown when the plumber jack-hammered the tile floor to find the leak.
Hopefully the pipes will stop springing leaks every few months. The holes in the dry wall will eventually be repaired. The hardwood floor will be replaced and sanded and stained and sealed. We will repaint. The furniture will go back to its rightful place. Everything will seemingly be back to normal.
Except it isn’t.
This leak at the foundation seems an apt metaphor for life these days. My rug has literally been pulled out from under me. With Don’s death, I have been broken down to the barest of elements. My sense of home and normalcy is disrupted and chaotic. Layers have been stripped away. Holes are opened and exposed. I am in desperate need of patching. Much like this leak, grief stops me in my tracks and makes me pay attention to what is going on.
I started writing this on Sunday night and it’s now Wednesday morning. I have no idea how to finish this post. I showed it to Andrew and he said, “Just write what you feel, Mom”.
I feel sad and raw. Nothing seems quite right. I miss my husband, my love, my friend. I have no idea what my “new normal” will look like. But I know I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I know I need an umbrella.