October 1, 2014: Rebuilding My Home

I’m rebuilding my home.

To be more accurate, I am doing renovations. I am not changing the basic structure of the home. The foundation was always very strong.

But our home was greatly damaged by a terrible storm. And I now have a choice.

I could do nothing and accept the way it is. It’s certainly liveable. I could continue with things the way they have been for the past 10 months.

Rebuilding is not always pleasant. There is dust and debris and noise. Decisions have to be made constantly. Every day there are strangers in your house. At times you feel that the rebuilding process will never end. So maybe it would be easier if I didn’t make any changes.

But I can see what my home eventually will look like. It will be beautiful inside and out. We will be able to open our doors to guests from near and far and our home will once again be a warm and inviting place.

I know what to do because together with another builder, we have designed the once unimaginable home of our dreams.

Not only do I love what we can see, I know that Stella would love it too.

Just as there were many people who were so helpful to me and my family during the storm, many friends continue to hand both of us the hammer, and the nails, and the encouragement we need to get the job done.

I know there are others who stand back. I know deep down they are wondering if I am not being hasty in my efforts. (“Should he be rebuilding so soon? Is he doing it right? Is he putting the roof on straight?”) Many people simply do not know how to deal with those who have lost a loved one. They wonder if they are allowed to mention Stella. They worry that they might make a joke that could be insensitive. They don’t know whether to congratulate me and my efforts to rebuild…. or pity me for them.

Just as this affects me, it also affects the kids. In schools, when a child’s parent is sick, the class can pray for that person to get better. But what happens if that person dies? Should the class just stop praying and treat the child as if nothing happened? The reality for many, both children and adults, is that they feel uncomfortable speaking to the bereaved about their loss. And so they end up avoiding them.

So let me be as clear as I can be. Yes, I am rebuilding my home. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love the old one.

I LOVE SPEAKING ABOUT STELLA AND HAVING PEOPLE TALK ABOUT STELLA. You never have to pretend she didn’t exist because a reference might hurt my feelings. It’s o.k.

Yet Stella would never allow me to become stuck living and raising children in a damaged home. So I am doing the best that I can planning a new future in a rebuilt home.

And I appreciate from the bottom of my heart all who hand us those nails.

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