Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We Get By With a Little Help from Our Friends

I'm going to borrow a lyric from The Beatles. "I get by with a little help from my friends." I'm going to skip the next line, though :)

Let me share with you the lesson that I am ever-learning but never seem to actually GET. Life is easier when you let your friends help.

Case in point: Our new floors.

Here's the deal: You combine a wheelchair (think riding your bike around your house all day, hello dirt!) plus two dogs (one of which is a perpetual shedder) and you don't exactly have the dream scenario for cleanliness when it comes to the floor. Carpet is not ideal. It drains the battery in Michael's wheelchair. Plus, I have allergy issues, and carpet doesn't help with that either.

But, we are renting right now. So, it doesn't make sense to pump a bunch of cash into a floor we are only going to live on for a couple of years. You may remember, last year, when Michael moved here from Texas right before our wedding, we were facing this same situation. Then, it seemed like a good idea to pull up the carpet and paint the concrete floor.

And it was. In theory. It worked. It looked okay, for the most part. If you like that "industrial" look. But it was nasty. Always dirty. Like I had dirt permanently ingrained in my heels at all times, dirty. But, I dealt with it because I thought that's what was necessary.

When it came time to move, this was a sensitive subject. I didn't see how we would be able to afford to put down laminate flooring, and I was not even open to the idea of painted concrete anymore. The above mentioned issues with carpet remained.

One day, Michael and I were strolling around Home Depot when he suggested this peel-and-stick vinyl tile. It was affordable! I was intrigued. I immediately began Googling and YouTubing how to install it so I could become an expert!

I was overwhelmed. I pictured myself with 800 square feet of this stuff. Note: You lay this stuff down one. square. foot. at. a. time. How would I lift all of that tile to bring it home? I will hurt my back getting it in and out of the car. I will kill my hands and knees laying it down. How ever will I figure out how to cut the edges? Is it just like stickers? I don't know, aaaahhhhh!!! I mean, I was over.whelmed. Tears and all.

Enter my hero of a husband. You know what? My husband is paralyzed. He's in a wheelchair. You wouldn't think he'd be able to help me with this conundrum. He can't get down on the floor and install the flooring. He can't lift and transport the tile. He can't measure it and cut it and yada, yada, yada.

But, you know what he can do? You know what he's an expert at doing, gracefully? He can ask for help.

And, that, folks, is where I have a disability!! I am helpless at asking for help. I don't even like the idea of it. I will struggle and scrape and grunt my way through something just so I don't have to ask for help. EVEN if there are willing people standing all around me, watching, and offering to help. This is my never-ending life lesson.

Here's how everything played out: Michael set up a Facebook group for our move. We ended up with more than enough hands to help us!! Not only did these people help me go get the tile from Home Depot, lay it down, cut the edges, install a carpet near our back door, tape and paint the walls, pack the U-haul and move all of our stuff... but they played a major part in teaching me a major lesson.

It's okay to get by with a little help from my friends. THANK YOU ALL. I was moved with gratitude, and I think of this help everyday as I walk on our beautiful floors with clean heels.

And to my dear husband, thank you for showing me that everything really is possible. Oh, how I love you.

This is our friend, Bonnie, and our first two tiles. I think seeing just Bonnie in the picture with the two tiles represents what I was facing there. Imagine if it had just been me!

And, look at this! This picture was taken only MINUTES after the one with just two tiles. This is community. I love it. I'm moved almost to tears again, just thinking about our friends who gave so much to help us.

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