One of the ways I spent this summer was doing house projects–including painting the family room. It turned out to be a healing experience for me.
It started off as a modest project of painting the family room blue. I left the painted wood wall for last. Should I paint it blue, too– or lightly sand it I wondered? That didn’t turn out to be a simple question.
Twenty-five years ago, it was a lovely wooden wall. My husband had installed a nice oak floor that matched the wooden cabinets in that room. I like the look of natural wood, but I also enjoy the look of wood with a light coat of white paint (where the grain shows through). One morning after getting my two young daughters off to school, I felt compelled to paint this room. That “particular” day it felt “too woody” to me. I thought how hard could it be to make the wood look like I was envisioning it in my head. Well, without researching how to do it, I ended up with a wall covered in paint and no wood grain to be found. My husband was “surprised” when he came home from work, but also patient. You see, the night before I’d had my third miscarriage. My way to deal with the emotional pain was to paint and cover up that beautiful wooden wall.
We lived with it until this last summer. I thought how hard could it be to sand a bit of that paint off… and see the wood grain. I started with the “distressed” look. I tried to like it, but well, I didn’t. So, I got to work and sanded all the paint off that section of the wall. There was the wood I remembered from years ago peeking out of the white. Determined, I got to work with my little circular sander. It took all my strength holding it up and pushing against the wall to chip away at the white paint, but it was happening bit by bit.
My husband came home from work again – and stared at the wall. He realized the work we had ahead. He went into the garage and returned with his heavy-duty sander. The paint came off faster (with the right sand paper), but it was also heavier to hold up. My arms ached at the end of each day, but my husband would take over when he got home from work. We continued this for several long days into the next weekend.
The room was off limits during this time, with sheets hung up to prevent the dust from spreading throughout the house. Each day we’d clean up the mess.
Finally, on a Sunday morning my husband wearily pronounced he was through. He declared this was a project he never wanted to do again…I completely agreed. All we had left was the cleanup and painting of the trim and ceiling. Gee, was that all? Even with my best efforts, the dust made it throughout the house. Clean up was a whole other project I focused on, while he finished up the painting.
Now, we have a beautiful room and I have closure. The time came to sand all of that paint away and bring back the beauty again. Writing No Fairy Tale helped me see some patterns in my life and let them go– finally. It may have been just painting a room and sanding a wall – but it removed what was buried inside me all these years. This summer I expunged it and exposed the possibilities that life offers—including the birth of a son whose 23rd birthday is this week!
This Second Chance will be released this week! Watch for it! Giveaway to follow.
Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!
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Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn