Friday, December 4, 2009

plumbing prowess and other miracles

Tonight, as I attempted to turn off the water to the tub, I was hit with a major plumbing emergency. Initially, as I was unable to shut off the water to the already very full bath, I thought, "Oh, *^%$#. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!!"
Turning the knob to the left did nothing. Turning it to the right had the same undesired effect. Saying my most favoured and shocking swearword, unfortunately, didn't help either....
So I took a breath. I stopped. I thought (really, really quickly). I unplugged the tub. I got a screw driver, a pair of vice grips and an adjustable wrench. I took off the tap with the screw driver, I turned off the water with the vise grips and I removed the cartridge with the wrench.
Before Jeff died, I may not have known how to conquer this house's plumbing monsters. I didn't know where the water shut-off was. But even if I did, I still probably would have let him deal with these things. I wouldn't have believed in my abilities to fix these dilemmas correctly or I would have just allowed him to do 'his job' in the variety of household repairs that spring up. It would have seemed daunting and overwhelming.
But tonight, I didn't panic (much) as I performed my plumbing magic; because I now know where the shut-off for the hotwater tank AND household water is if I need to shut the whole thing down.
Although this is post sounding like a plumbing how-to, it isn't. It is a testament to the strength and growth we experience and gain after surviving any tragedy. It is a statement of how, although we think we may not be able to make it, do it, survive it - we can. We learn how. We grow. We grudgingly troup forwards.
All of us have this in us, it is just forced to the surface when you find yourself suddenly alone. Suddenly solely accountable for everything that occurs in our household. The strength and courage rise to the surface whether it is a major minor plumbing issue or a catastrophe involving our loved ones and our lives.
This, I believe, is one of the blessings of grief.


  1. Thank You! You have expressed so well what has been my experience in this nearly one year journey of widowhood.

  2. Yay! Way to go! Its definitely the "little" things, even if they aren't so little. Congrats for taking on the plumbing monster and coming out victorious.

  3. You are so right, Jackie! Though I have to admit that as I am forced to tackle the issues which come up around the house which previously I would have never dealt with, I always feel overwhelmed and angry for a moment (sometimes two). Then I take a breath and "just do it". Success is always such a great feeling of accomplishment, but it's still bittersweet. Maybe I'll get to the point soon where the courage and strength feel like real blessings. Thanks for showing me that is does continue to get better.


  4. Hooray for you. I always let my husband deal with such emergencies--he was so good at it. It's hard to manage these things alone. I wish I could do better.