Friday, December 04, 2009

plumbing prowess and other miracles

Also posted on Widow's Voice

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.


Mrs. Spit said...

Good for you. Not for fixing the plumbing, although good for that too.

Good for you for recognizing we chose our responses, and that we can chose the practice of resiliency. What an inspiration.

Jen said...

Yes, there are silver linings, aren't there? Sometimes I can believe that it's the only reason we face loss and grief -- to be a catalyst for growth. Otherwise, what would be the point?

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you are finding the strength when you need it. And I feel like I should go find out more about how my own plumbing works. Because those are just plain good things to know.

Poppy and Mei said...

As I was reading this I was imagining being in the same splashy spot. It wasn't until you said, "I pulled the plug..." that I realised I never would of thought of that.
I would've been knee deep in one of your favourite words me thinks...XXxx.

Rachel said...

Hi Jackie
a totally unrelated thing, but have tried to email you a couple of times, but your hotmail address is bouncing back?
New Zealand

leigh in the sav said...

most impressive. and such a great perspective...