Recently while my homemaker from the local senior center was cleaning, she found plaster falling from the ceiling near my kitchen door. Apparently, it had gotten wet. This could only mean one thing. My roof was leaking again.
Why didn’t I see this? Well, with my limited vision, I don’t see things unless they’re close to me. Although I walk by my kitchen door every day, it never occurred to me to look up.
When my homemaker pointed out the offending area, I saw it, and it looked awful. I could just reach it by standing on tiptoe, and when my finger touched the spot, more flecks of plaster went flying. Yuck!
My roof was replaced in 2008 when I bought the house, and I was assured it would last at least thirty years. It wasn’t even ten years old. I called the same roofer, and after taking a look, he reported that the material he used was only supposed to last ten years, and it was aging. Like me, I thought.
As long as I’m getting part of my roof replaced, why not have my me replaced? Maybe I could get a younger me who can see, a me who doesn’t recoil at the prospect of dealing with contractors and insurance bureaucrats, a me who doesn’t hate being around any kind of construction, a me who can drive and not rely on others to get me everywhere, especially in winter, a me with more confidence when walking in treacherous conditions and less fear of falling on ice, braking bones, and ending up in a nursing home.
When I suggested as much to a friend though, she pointed out that with better eyesight, I might not like the way the world looks. It also occurred to me that with no disability, I wouldn’t earn income from social security. To make car payments and support my writing habit, I’d have to go back to my forty-hour-a-week job conducting activities with nursing home residents who fell on ice and broke bones.
Although the other features of a new me would be nice, this investment will have to wait until I get the roof fixed. Apparently, although my homeowner’s insurance will cover fixing the plaster on my ceiling, it won’t cover the replacement of part of my roof unless the damage was a result of a storm. Hmm, maybe with a better me, I could get up on the roof and make it look like storm damage.
Note: After I wrote the above, the insurance adjuster came and said that a piece has fallen off the roof, so it’s definitely storm damage. Whether it’s the type of storm damage my policy covers remains to be seen.
Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in Labyrinth, Magnets and Ladders, and other publications. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes.