I know. It’s just a door, newly painted black against a little white house in a slightly run-down neighborhood in a small town in the middle of the Midwest. It’s just a door.
Except that it’s not. It’s so much more than just a door.
It’s hope. It’s moving forward. It’s life continuing after loss.
It’s a symbol of friends and family who are willing to give up evenings and weekends to make our house just a little more homey. Because without Vance here, coming home is hard. Walking in, I sometimes have to take a deep breath before crossing the threshold. With one of us missing, this house feels just that much less like home.
Everyone kept asking what they could to help when Vance died. So I told them that I needed help with the house. It’s kind of been falling apart for a while. Nothing huge but lots of little things that add up to chaos for a girl who’s only used actual power tools about five times in her whole life.
And these friends of mine, they’ve showed up. To paint the shed. To paint and rehang the door. To put up shutters. To plant the rose bushes we were gifted in Vance’s memory. To patch holes. To build a whole new room in the garage for my oldest so that he can get out of his brothers’ way and finally have a little space of his own. I know I’ve asked a lot and I’m honestly overwhelmed by how generously they have given their time and talents to us.
It might seem silly or frivolous that I’m choosing to do these things now. I guess I’ll just say this: It’s part of my grief process. All of the things that Vance and I talked about but never got around to, I want to complete those. I need to finish those projects because I can’t move forward when everywhere I look keeps reminding me of what we didn’t do. What he will never get to do. I can’t move forward while constantly looking over my shoulder.
And so this door, this freshly painted, welcome-into-my-home door, it’s so, so much more than a door. It’s love.