Posted by: sistermom1 | September 4, 2010

My house no longer rises up to meet me

After being away for a week for the first time in 2 years, I did not feel my home rise up to meet me when we returned.  I used to feel very happy and relaxed in our home.  I always felt comforted, protected and safe.  I do love my home — for 15 years, it has been a comfortable, easy and warm respite from a busy and hectic world. 

Now that I am unable to walk on my own, there is much of my house that I cannot get to independently.  I need so much equipment — ramps, stair lifts, power chair, walkers, wheelchair, commodes — to navigate around my home every day.  I do appreciate that we can afford to have all of these things — I just hate needing all of it.  I have not been able to get to the basement for almost 3 years.  Life was dramatically different just a few years ago.

Spending time looking back is often a waste of energy, and I am learning not to waste time hating my current reality.  I often remember my father saying “It is what it is” about any situation that seemed to be causing us suffering.  That used to bother me when I was a teenager, mostly because I did not understand what he meant, but also because it sounded so harsh.  Now that I am older, I use that phrase with our kids all of the time, and I smile when I see their reactions — confident that as they mature they will also understand it’s meaning.

I first heard of your house rising to meet you during an episode of The Oprah Show, and could immediately relate to it.  Your home is your refuge, and returning to it should always feel positive, calming and comforting.   Of course, returning to it means that you have been able to leave it, which has not been the case for me. 

Unfortunately, I have been stuck in my home for the past week as a result of having the first MS exacerbation I have experienced in over a year.  Being home all day with limited options has led me to several realizations.  I have had the time to appreciate the energy and joy that our children bring home at the end of their school days.  I have really enjoyed hearing about their first days in Middle and High School respectively.  Being forced to be still has enabled me to spend more time reading, listening to more music, talking more with my husband about things that are important to us — even writing more — like this blog!  

As a result of my challenges, I am learning about many things, including universal design, which is the most recent term for architectural design that is supportive of all levels of disability.  This type of design factors in level entries, ramps, counter levels that are reaching distances from a wheelchair — all of that.   I have been praying for the wisdom and strength to connect with the best contractors that can help us in the best way without our needing to spend too much money.  With the right relationship, our home will truly become a place that rises up to meet me when I return home….


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