Have you seen all the posts in the ALS series?

ALS – The Construction

During the last six months of her life Veronique was surrounded daily by family, friends and various health professionals. The house was filled to the brim with activity, not to mention the heightened sense of emotions experienced by everyone. It is hard to imagine but alongside all of this, there was also major construction being carried out on the home. At that time, we had no way of knowing how long Veronique would be with us. With her condition progressing, being stuck in a wheelchair suddenly made a multi-level home seem like a bad idea. So came the plan to build a small addition to the downstairs bedroom. This would allow Veronique to move from the bedroom downstairs, by way of a lift, up to the main level without leaving her chair. It also meant that toilet breaks could be done in the comfort and privacy of her bedroom instead of in the living room.

Ivan was the main contractor involved in building the addition. For years he has been helping Thor and Veronique with remodelling projects in and around the home. Most notably is the immense deck in back of the house. Through the years, the deck had grown in stages. Now, with the new plans, we would actually need to remove a large section of decking. On the one hand, it was heartbreaking to see the deck shrink in size. On the other hand, the old had to make way for the new.

On any given weekday, when I wasn’t inside assisting Veronique or Thor, I could be found outside working alongside Ivan. To see this building come together step by step was amazing. When I arrived here, it was still just a concept on paper. Six months later the addition was practically complete. And most importantly, the lift had been installed and some of Veronique’s daily challenges had been alleviated.

Throughout all the construction, the long days, the noisy tools, the dust and dirt and plastic covered walls, Veronique remained her positive self. She was happy to see changes which eventually would make her days more manageable. Ultimately though, Veronique left us before the construction was complete. It is taking a bit of adjustment now to continue finishing off the details, while at the same time trying to find a new home for the lift and wheelchair. Yet, for those few months Veronique was able to make use of these items, her life was dramatically improved. And the space which has been added will find a new use.

Have you seen all the posts in the ALS series?