It’s been almost six years since I wrote this post about the playroom we created for Tori in the midst of medical appointments and uncertainty. It was a project of hope and of desperation for a different outcome.
Sadly, she never got to enjoy the playroom in the basement of that house. But yesterday, her brothers received the same gift (in a different house), given with the same hope and love as the first playroom was given.
When we bought this house in Hershey almost five years ago, every room needed our attention in some way. In the years since, we’ve slowly made it back into one house, have at least painted (if not done more work in) every room, and have many more plans for the future.
We hadn’t planned on doing any house projects this year, but, as the pandemic has continued on it became apparent to us that the basement should be our next priority so that the boys could have more room to play and run around, especially during the winter.
This was the basement when we first bought the house (straight out of the seventies, we think):
We added a half (someday will be a full) bath and laundry room right after we bought it, and we painted the walls, but we hadn’t been able to do much more until now.
On December 7th our contractor friend got to work and took our basement from this…
And then Brennan and I made it into this:
Yesterday, as we revealed the playroom to the boys (who had never been in the basement before that), it was a moment of joyful redemption.
I think that we, as parents who have lost a child, experience a lot of “parent guilt” and also some added pressure to give our boys a great childhood and to fully embrace every moment (I have a blog post drafted about this). Parenting is hard in general, but I believe that parenting after loss is even harder for these reasons.
Now, our healthy, happy sons will spend hours in this playroom, learning, growing, having fun. Tori never had that experience, but they will enjoy it to the fullest and it’s a space that will adapt and change as they do.
There are still many things to finish in the basement, but the boys now have a spacious and safe place to play, and that makes it worth all the time and energy we’ve poured into it this month.
I know Tori would love it, too. ❤