But as soon as the renovation began, problems cropped up, which caused it to drag out: businesses brought their products later than they had assured, and the products were taller or shorter; there were unforeseen cracks; the employees in charge of installing them didn’t show up at the expected date; and myriad issues that prolonged the eagerly awaited ending. My mother had traveled to Israel to meet her new great grandchildren and to see Alona, the eldest, in the flesh. When we talked on the phone, she related the misadventures of the ill-fated project as well as my brother and his wife’s bitterness. Nothing went well. And on top of it, the lack of a sink prevented them from cooking and eating on clean kitchenware, which forced them to go downstairs to wash it and then come back upstairs – an inconvenient way of living. When the house is livable and more beautiful, said I, these misfortunes will be just an anecdote. You’re right, she agreed.
The conversation gave me food for thought. After all these mishaps, the house would be finished. So, they could set their eyes on the time after the renovations. But I didn’t have an end in mind: I didn’t know if I would be able to walk or to move my arm and hand freely; I didn’t know if I’d be able to swallow or to talk “normally.” That meant I couldn’t focus on a happy ending. I had to wait. I had to focus on each baby step, as a nurse at the rehab center used to call the tiny progresses I made. And every time my eyes looked in the distance, I should turn my head and look near me.