‘Dad takes broken things and makes them whole again, with the love, sweat, and all things great only a father can provide.’: Grieving daughter says ‘it’s not just houses he fixes, it’s people too’

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“Throughout my entire life, my dad has purchased, renovated, and flipped houses. He has consistently purchased rundown, unmaintained, broken, dirty, and dark houses. 

As kids, we’d gasp in horror as we looked at the chosen pieces of real estate selected by my father. We never understood his vision or his insane desire to transform these less than mediocre houses. He was drawn to houses others would abandon and run from. Seeing purpose and vision where no one else could. 

With each house and months and months of effort and hard work, he’d create something brilliant. He’d take dark places and make them beautiful. He’d take pure brokenness and make it whole again in new and special ways. 

For him, brokenness was simply an opportunity to rebuild and uniquely craft something better than before. With every house and transformation, we’d walk into the modified structure in awe and disbelief. We always underestimated his grit and mission. 

There is so much purpose in what he does. There are so many hidden lessons in the walls and foundations he’s repurposed. Hidden stories in his efforts and hard work. Life lessons among his hobbies. 

He has a unique way of ripping away the damaged pieces and leaving only the solid and mighty bones. The pieces that are built fierce, the ones worthy of remaining. Tearing away everything that no longer houses purpose or stability. Shedding each place of the broken rubble, sifting through the scattered pieces, delicately choosing what stays and what goes. 

Eventually left with only the strong and chosen elements, he carefully crafts a redemption. He sheds the debris and ruin. He carefully gathers the broken and then he rebuilds. Rebuilding something new, while still holding pieces of the past, and crafting new spaces for all that is to come. 

He takes broken things and makes them whole again. 

He takes destroyed things and makes them beautiful. 

He takes places full of darkness and creates space for the light to shine and illuminate the transformations and becoming. 

It’s not just the houses I’m talking about. It’s people too. After my mother passed, I saw the way his hobby was actually how he handled his relationships too. 

He’d take the brokenness of grief and find ways to help us feel whole again, in transforming and unique ways. He’d take the ache of grief and wrap it in humor and laughter, reminding us of life’s joy. He’d take the darkness, and fill it with light, comforting the ache and the pain. He created space for the light to shine and illuminate the journey of loss. 

He takes broken things and makes them whole again with love and sweat and all the great things only fathers can provide. 

And it’s beautiful and priceless.”   

Courtesy of Chelsea Ohlemiller
Courtesy of Chelsea Ohlemiller
Courtesy of Chelsea Ohlemiller

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chelsea Ohlemiller of Indianapolis, Indiana. You can follow her journey on FacebookInstagram, and her blogSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Chelsea:

‘To my ex-husband’s family, you didn’t have to continue loving me, my new husband, and child. But you do.’: Woman pens emotional letter to ‘compassionate’ in-laws, ‘you’ve turned an unfortunate circumstance into something beautiful’

‘I keep staring at our First Day of School pictures with tears of sorrow and emptiness. I know this is the right thing, but I also know it hurts.’: Mom says ‘our hearts and world are different’

‘She slipped away. She died with things left unsaid. She isn’t here to answer the questions that pierce my soul. Does she know how much I loved her?’: Woman pens tribute to late mother

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