How many times did I say to Joe- “Let me “fix” your man cave; I can make it look SOOOOO GOOD!“
“Marie Beckley… I’m one man you don’t boss! 🙄 (That was funny!) You’re not touching my room! Foot DOWN!“
But again, last year when we painted the whole interior of the house, I went to Joe’s cave when we were done, and tried to coax him… “look…babe, this is the only room we have left to do.”
Joe stood there for a minute just staring at the walls- all of his album covers, all of his antlers, all of his guns, all of his fishing poles, all of his turkey tails, everything, his childhood hockey sticks, and he said:
“yeah… I kind of designed this room, so it never had to be painted again.” 😂 (That was also FUNNY!!) I just looked at him- LAUGHED, rolled my eyes- and I’m sure I was shaking my head.
I’ve been dying (no pun intended) to get my hands in that room- forever. Now it’s my room to do with what I want. Only now, it feels like it would be taking him away. And though my mind knows that’s not true- because Joe is not in that room… Joe is still in that room.
These are the decisions that I have to make with love and compassion not only for myself but for our kids, our family, and our friends that like to come and “just sit a minute” in that space. There are things in that room that mean a lot to them. Things that take them back to good times. Gifts they’ve given him. Trips- hunting trips, fishing trips, camping trips… all the trips.
All the memories.
All the things.
I’m not in a hurry to change anything, but still… I have thought: “when I’m ready, what will I do?” I first thought, “well, I’m going to make it a BEAUTIFUL guest room- doll it up a bit.” (I do love my feminine side). And then it occurred to me…
NO. That is not happening.
I’m NOT going to doll it up and make it all girly- even though that was my first instinct. I can’t help myself sometimes, but I have enough of that. I’ve always felt that Joe and I did a great job of having a masculine/feminine balance in our house. And yes, of course, I had more space than him; he gave it to me… willingly… mostly. 😉
Joe’s not here anymore, but I want to keep his memory alive. I will never stop talking about him; I want to hear stories and tell stories. I want our friends and family to come over, to sit in his room for a minute- or for as long as needed, if that’s what they want to do.
So I’ve decided I’m going to make it the way that I wanted him to let me make it in the first place. I’m going to show him what I meant and WHY he should’ve let me do it long ago. 😏 His treasures from the kids/grand-kids, his old fishing gear collections, the crate of balls- footballs, basketballs, baseballs, and yes, his vintage cooler collection- they will also be housed there.
Joe is no longer here with us, but he is 100% still here with us.
All the things will still have a place. It’s just going to look a WHOLE lot better! 😌
I get the last word now, Joe.