Cheryl's Blog

My guardian angel in steel-toe boots

We were in the middle of a massive construction project with men and women on scaffolding ripping stone from the front elevation of our home. A roof drainage issue had caused water to seep behind the external walls leaving the inside vulnerable to rot. Fortunately, we discovered the problem early but the fix would take months forcing us to live with a cacophony of hammering, drilling, and yelling nearly every day of the week.

My saving grace during this time was our handyman, Larry. On the days when I thought I’d lose my mind, Larry provided the calm assurance I needed to get through. Unflappable and clear-minded, Larry would show up before anyone else, get the site ready for work to begin on time, and keep everyone on track throughout the day.

He was a guardian angel in steel-toe boots.

Larry is a legend in our home. Over the years he’s proven resourceful, creative, and passionately determined to tackle the most perplexing problems. There’s nothing he can’t fix. Like the day a construction worker in a boom lift hit an expensive light fixture at the top of a lamppost in our driveway bending the metal structure to a nearly unrecognizable shape. At the end of the workday, Larry took the broken fixture home and returned it a week later rebuilt and looking brand new.

This Thursday, Larry retires after more than twenty years of supporting our family and while I’ll miss him and his good care, I’m excited for his next adventure – seeing the country from behind the wheel of an RV!

Saying goodbye is par for the course in our wisdom years and it’s a reality I’m learning to embrace. But boy there are days when navigating late life feels like traversing a foreign land without a map – much like becoming a parent without a manual I imagine. We’re forced to learn on the fly.

Well, not one to buy into an anti-aging movement that seems more focused on extending life than living it, I’m curious to see what aging has to offer. I’m viewing this stage with thirsty eyes ready to embrace change as my next adventure. From now on, when I’m forced to handle something new, I ask myself:

How will I make this change the best thing that’s ever happened to me?

I’ll be hard-pressed to find an answer to that question after losing Larry but I’ll give it my best shot. (Love you, Legend!)



P.S. – Check out the audiobook/workshop called Self Care for the Wisdom Years available through Audible. You can learn more here.