There’s a four-wheel loader, otherwise known as a Bobcat in my backyard. The basement has been demolished, revealing strange things like no framing or insulation along certain walls, wood panelling, and linoleum tiles. A film of dust covers everything, at least on the first floor. Orange fencing surrounds the front yard. And maybe most traumatically, the porch is gone, leaving the porch swing beached for now.

Renovations have begun.

I am grateful that my brother Logan is our contractor. We communicate easily and have the same vision for things. One day six of our friends showed up to help Logan get all of the debris into a bin. It got done so quickly, that some of them were able to stay and continue working, notably taking down the drywall from the ceiling. To say I am thankful is an understatement.

As many of you know, Dion has not been living at the house since January. Multiple Sclerosis, though constantly present, reared its head in a dramatic way for him at that time. Since then he has been adjusting to a new normal at three different facilities, Michael Garron Hospital, Bridgepoint, and now Bellwoods. This period has been a very difficult one for him, and for me and Cate. I don’t quite know how to describe it all. Suffice to say, while there are good things happening, I am also scared, sad, and tired.

The plans for the house include digging down and underpinning, putting in a lift from the main floor to the basement, a barrier-free washroom, and space for a hospital bed. We have no idea when it will be done. Currently Dion is receiving good care at his new place, and outpatient physiotherapy at Bridgepoint.

With everything going on, I have chosen to be pretty quiet here lately. I haven’t known what to write, even though writing often helps me sort out my thoughts. I am trying to live in the tension of a life that is full to the brim, and some days it all feels like too much. I’m looking for ways to rest and am eagerly anticipating having the month of August off from work. There is a lot to process, and I’m hoping for a little more space in my brain to do just that.

I do wonder if there is something symbolic about having to tear down old things in order to make something new. As strange as it is to have a Bobcat parked where my car usually is, there is something exciting about it all. Things are happening. And that, however messy it is and nervous it all makes me, is good.

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