this weekend i’ll move out of the house i bought about 5 years before my brain tumor diagnosis. there are many things i’ll miss about it. the stairs, not at all.
it happens that this house has a lot of things that made it possible for me to live in it post-stroke. it has a bedroom and a bathroom on the main floor. the doorways are wide enough for a wheelchair to get through (when i first moved back in about a year ago, i was still using my wheelchair). the fact that the laundry room is on the 2nd floor was fixed by my grandma betty being willing to do my laundry for me. the downstairs bathroom has a tub (i can’t take showers, which is cool because i love baths), and with a few quick changes was easily made accessible.
but those stairs.
the day that my mom and i left oregon for arizona and my brain surgery that turned into 4 brain surgeries and a stroke and my near-death, i must have walked down those stairs carrying my suitcase and never thinking that i wouldn’t ever walk down them again. almost 6 months later, the next time i was in my house, i had to crawl up those stairs on my hands and knees and scoot down them on my bottom. after everything i’d been through, it was still shocking to me how upsetting that was. i can feel it right now.
for most of the years that i lived in this house, my bedroom was upstairs. bathroom and office, too. my daughter’s bedroom was downstairs. now my daughter’s bedroom is in california and mine is downstairs. not much goes on upstairs. i crawl up there every few days to do my laundry. that floor of my house has pretty much ceased to exist for me.
the time that i’ve spent back in my house has been overwhelmingly positive. i’ve come a very long way, and the sidewalk in front of my house has been the site of many triumphs. but the stairs get me down. when i get to thinking about them, they remind me of all that i took for granted until it was taken from me. a lot i’ve gotten back, and a lot i’ll never get back (much of which has been replaced with things i never had before).
i’m moving into a place that works for the person that i am now. and not a single stair. i’m so grateful for the people (put my parents at the top of the list) who made it possible for me to be able to reclaim my house and leave it on my own terms. and i’m excited for whoever buys it – it’s really a great house. as i was reminded that i used to say as a transition in my classroom, “moving on.”