One night last week, I found a roof leak in the master bedroom, apparently due to a build-up of snow on the roof. The spot was located above the head of the bed. Fortunately, I wasn’t sleeping at the time, or I might have dreamed of being the victim of the Chinese water torture method.
After discovering the leak, I was able to reach the roofer I used last year. The next morning, I called the insurance company. Later, two guys from the construction company came and shoveled snow of the roof. I asked them to have their boss give me a written estimate if repairs are needed. They may not be able to do anything until spring, so will see what happens.
This reminded me of a similar incident that happened while my late husband Bill was still alive. As you’ll note in the following excerpt from My Ideal Partner, a memoir in which I describe how I cared for Bill after he suffered two strokes, we discovered a leak in almost the same spot on a rainy May morning.
One rainy May morning, as Bill sat on the side of the bed, clutching the pole, and I maneuvered the wheelchair in place so I could transfer him, he intoned, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”
Not knowing any more words to that BJ Thomas standard, I hummed a few more bars.
“I’m serious,” he said. “I think the roof is leaking. It’s dripping on my head.”
I placed my hand on top of his head, and to my horror, I felt a drop a moment later. My heart racing, I said, “What do I do?”
“Put me in the chair. Then call John.” (John was our landlord.
As I transferred him to the wheelchair, my mind was reeling. “You’ll probably have to go to Eventide (nursing home) until we can get the roof fixed.”
“No, a roofer can put a tarp over the place where the roof is leaking until they can fix it.”
I was relieved and hopeful as I dialed John’s number. He promised to call someone right away. About twenty minutes later, as Bill predicted, a roofer arrived, and the leak was temporarily stopped.
“Tell Suzanne at the bank,” Bill said. “She can add the cost of repairing the roof to the loan.” When I called her, she said she would need an estimate. I gave her the name of the roofer John called.
We needed a new roof, but Suzanne said adding that cost wouldn’t be a problem. The rain eventually let up, and our days became warm and sunny with no worries about the roof.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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