Eight weeks into the remodeling of the bathroom, we are finally coming close to getting done.
The new tub sits below a framing of new tile and paint. New trim frames the door and window. A new vanity sits in the new alcove made for it. New tile spans the floor of the small room, bordered by smaller tile mortared around the edge to create an almost waterproof ceramic baseboard.
The old exaggerated texture of the ceiling was levelled by two layers of drywall mud with two sessions of sanding to smooth the finish. New outlets sit above the splash line of the sink, beneath two new lights hanging down toward either side. In the nook at the end of the tub/shower, a new commode shines its deceiving whiteness. A new shelf unit for towels and such is nested into the wall opposite the tub.
Even with all this newness there are still a few small tasks remaining: the final piece of trim below the window, towel racks and paper holder to be installed, another shelf or cabinet to be made and hung above the toilet.
There is little hint of all the frustrations and extra efforts: a commode shipped already cracked from the factory, a flawed sink that kinks the drain assembly, imperfections in the drain assembly that prevent a proper seal, a faucet pipe that needed to be a quarter-inch longer, grout sealer that required five coats instead of the two claimed by the directions, old mistakes and new ones that added hours to the work.
When a thing has been finished and all the errors ironed out, it is only those who have done the work who ever knew what it really took to get it done. Eventually, we get there in spite of all the swearing and the weariness of things that seem to be simple but rarely are. At some point, maybe it’s sheer stubbornness that gets us through the final phases. Talent and experience certainly play a role but oftentimes, it’s the refusal to give up that sees some things through to their end.
Though our names may never be carved into stone markers or cast into bronze plaques, we leave a thousand small monuments to mark our lives. Moments of each day that say we were there and we did something that mattered even though those who come behind may never know or understand what it took.
That’s okay because the One who takes the measure of our lives always knows. And he has promised to reward us openly for the good we have done that escaped the notice of everyone around us. Until then, the good that we do will bring good into the lives of others and they will be blessed… even when they have no idea of the mess we went through to get it done.