Monday, December 30, 2019

Today I fixed a thing

Today I fixed something that seemed broken. There’s nothing unusual about that, but the way it unfolded says something literal and figurative about how my life must be now, what I must do.

The end of next week, I’ll be doing a “pre-settlement inspection” of the house I’m buying, which is done to make sure everything is as it should be, that the vendor hasn’t removed any chattels, that sort of thing. One of the things I want to do at the same time is measure the windows for curtains, and that’s where the trouble began.

Nigel and I had a laser measuring device—basically like a tape measure, but without the tape. I wanted to use it at the new house because I knew it would be faster than using a tape measure, and more accurate.

I found the device in the garage, but it wouldn’t turn on. I assumed it was dead batteries, and I planned to buy new ones. I also vaguely remembered that Nigel told me some time back that it wasn’t working. I guessed he must’ve meant the batteries were dead.

On Sunday I bought some new batteries, put them in, and still nothing. I worked out that one of the batteries had leaked, and, I thought, that was that: I’d have to replace the unit.

But then I decided to Google it to see if there was a way to clean the contacts, and there is: White vinegar or lemon juice removes the battery gunge from the contact—or so the Internet told me. And, it actually did. I put the batteries in again, and the unit worked perfectly.

I always relied on Nigel to take care of something like this, and he would have done exactly what I did: Search for a solution, try it, and fix the problem. He would have been very happy I did that. On the other hand, though, in this case I’m sure he’d have known what to do without looking it up, but the larger point is the same: I have to rely on myself now, and I have to solve inevitable problems or challenges along the way. Sometimes that will still mean finding someone who knows how to do what I need done. Other times, like this, it’ll mean doing as I did this time: Looking stuff up, and fixing things.

That’s been on my mind a lot lately as the move to the new house draws closer. The family, especially my brother-in-law, have been awesome and far more help in this process than I can express, however, there are still a lot of things only I can sort out, and there will be more once I’ve moved. The biggest thing of all is that I’ll need to learn to live.

Today I was thinking about the reality of the move, especially that it will mean leaving the last home that Nigel and I had together. I suppose it was the fact that it’s getting closer that did that, because it wasn’t a bad day (apart from being overcast, sometimes darkly so). Whatever the cause, I had a few teary moments today, and there will be more to come.

Aside from leaving our last home together, I know that there are other things possibly more prominent in my mind. For example, everything I’m doing is only because Nigel died, and the move to the new house will mean, in a sense, a major move—a big push, really—sending my life into a new direction, one that Nigel won’t be part of.

This is what’s making me feel conflicted about this move, and why I’m not excited as such. In a sense, this will be the first time in my life that I’ve made a move away from something, rather than toward something, even though it’s moving toward something, too. Like I said, conflicted.

Because of all that, I was missing Nigel more strongly today than I have in awhile, and that’s one thing I can’t fix. Time, though, will help.

Today I fixed a thing. But I have so much more work to do to repair myself and my broken heart.


rogerogreen said...

This is true: there is this dancing snowman that my daughter loved as a child. We pulled it out for the season. It didn't work. The batteries were corroded and had leaked. I used vinegar and Q-Tips to clean the area, and voila! Snowman sings "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Hoist by my own petard.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

My condolences!