For the past couple of days my husband and I have switched into high gear to expedite getting us OUT of this hotel room and into our small but sweet home (known by one friend as “the construction site.”) It’s been over three months since we lived there, we missed hot summer days and our famous barbeques, the scent of charred hamburgers and chicken wafting through the neighborhood. We also missed the bold, changing colors of leaves, red, orange, yellow, from our favorite tree in the front yard. We had no choice. The house was completely destroyed and we had to leave in a great hurry, before, as our contractor put it, “the bathtub plummeted on its own to the basement.” We were lucky to be alive.
While still living in the hotel, last night we started the process of trying to get rid of as much unwanted stuff and garbage as we could in our house. My lungs have not shaken the massive amount of noxious odors, wood shavings and dust. The industrial cleaners come in soon, but I dare not write when, just in case, they postpone us. Again.
Yesterday, back in the house for four hours, I searched for a little brown wooden dog that had belonged to my dad, named Susie (after my mom.) Finally, in my tiny office, underneath my desk, wrapped in dust and dirt, wood shavings and plaster board filth I found little Susie. Five minutes later I heard “Dance With My Father Again” by Luther Vandross, a song that is like an instant message from my father, in heaven, to me for the last eleven years. I’ve learned to appreciate and accept and love these signs, helped by my friend, Roland Comtois, who channels messages from those who have passed to the living. I haven’t had a sign from my dad since August when, as I drove my son to college for the first time (my husband was having surgery for his Achilles Tendon) I saw the number 3, three times and the letters FBF, three times, my dad’s initials. (My interpretation had been three? 3 what? I soon found out, three months in a hotel, in one room with the whole family and our dog. The last song I heard before I left the house was my favorite song by Adele. The signs were finally all there, dad, in heaven, was telling us we would be going home soon.
We will go back to the broken swing set at the side of our back yard where no one swings anymore or goes down the yellow slide, one child is in college, the other is a senior in high school. We leave the swing set there until we find someone who wants it for their family. It will take many months to find everything we own, scattered underneath beds, in corners, in different rooms, closets and the basement but at least we will be home.
Through reconstruction of the house, the wood, rot and carpenter ants and termites, still lived a neglected and forgotten plant, a Christmas cactus that never has bloomed on time until this year. I saw it from the corner of my eye shining red amongst dying dark green leaves; a true sign of hope.