The bags came in; the overflow went out, bag after bag: some to the Goodwill, some to our church’s homeless dinner, and some to Teen Challenge. We went through her closet several times, over the videos and books more the 3 or 4 times, each time convincing Rose that she could not possibly need what she hadn’t worn, watched, or read in years.
On Rose’s behalf, she did a good job, and after much agonizing she parted with what she did not need. When I felt the apartment was probably in the best condition that it could be, we began to look at furniture. The large wheelchair is still in the living room, but it is not obtrusive, it is just another place to sit.
We bought a wonderful, perfect sized loveseat to place in front of 3 book cases, the cabinets had been removed. The off-white loveseat came with 3 throw-type back pillows in reddish/burgundy and black and white plaid. Burgundy is her main color with accents of black and off whites. We purchased, along with the sofa from Salvation Army, a small size wing back chair, just right, for her tiny living room, With that and the sofa we bought one black and one burgundy throw blanked - black for the chair and the other for the loveseat.
For the windows, accessories and a nifty table-lamp (two purposes in one for the small room) we found great deals at Wal-Mart. The windows we covered with burgundy side panels, sheers in the middle and a burgundy sway valance. I gave her two brass, with sunflower design, tie backs that attach to the wall. Along with the table lamp, we purchased a beautiful floor lamp, as lighting was a problem, she didn’t have enough, For the cleaned up desk area, we bought an inexpensive floor lamp and picked up a new bookcase from a garage sale.
We moved the rickety TV case with the wobbly rabbit ears up against the wall near the desk, visible from the sofa, of course. We cleaned off the kitchen counter that faced the front door and put a small artificial plant there, with a couple of candles.
Several small bouquets of red, as well as white, roses went on the counter and the lamp table. Rose had a few nice pictures, but nothing large enough for the wall opposite the bookcases. I surprised her with a 3 x 5’ picture of an Italian street scene to hang on the empty wall, and the colorful image brought the room together and made it look stunning.
This project took from July to December, and when finished it looked beautiful. Rose cried when she told someone about how perfectly it turned out. Her mother loved it, her friends envied her, and Rose, herself, confessed that she never believed her home could be so lovely. One of her friends told me that she had tried to get Rose to clean the clutter out her house many times, but she never did. Rose needed some like me, who she calls her ‘Warring Angel’, to coax her into giving things away. Working with Rose and becoming her friend has been a unique experience, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity.