My father was diagnosed with cancer early in 2009. He was relieved of cancer a year ago today. There is not enough room on this blog for me to tell you exactly what 2009 was like. It was thick with grief.

I bought the house on Bradford because it needed new life. After walking through it once, I wanted everything to do with a project that would bring life to something in shambles. The house was a physical representation of all the things that had been happening in my life. I was quite moved by the fact that the house was an estate home being sold by a daughter who was in charge of her father’s estate. And, I was sad yet thankful to work with a contractor who has walked a mile or two in my shoes—his father had cancer, too. These are the sorts of details in life that make you stop to pay attention

When Brad told me we would have to do some mold remediation before we could renovate I thought to myself: What does this even mean? What is this remediation that he speaks of…. According to our friend Webster, remediation is the act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency. It is a process that sets straight, or right, its Latin root is remediare which means to heal or cure. Nothing in this world will remediate your heart like a season of difficulty. Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope. 2009 was a character-builder—an entire year, 365 days of remediation. I am not exaggerating. Every single day was a challenge.

For all the heartache and grief of 2009, 2010 has proven to be a year of renovation. Renovation comes from Latin renovat which means to make new again. I think of my dad so often as we work on this house. He always wanted to build a house—white with a green roof, which didn’t occur to me until long after I made those decisions regarding Bradford. He would absolutely love the wood floors. He would LOVE that the house is wired for music. And he’d love that front porch swing.

Whether I live in that house for one year or five years or fifty years, I’ll never pass it by without a sense of gratitude. It is such a picture of life. I will always remember that broken and limping people used their imagination and skill and creativity to bring life to something. I will never think of renovation as less than an honorable process that restores and makes new.

As for my father, indeed, he was one of a kind—the sort of person you cannot forget. I am so thankful to be his daughter.