George Monroe
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

George Monroe

Life as a House

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About Him

Living… in a house that he’ll soon demolish. George lived for 25 years in the tiny shack his father passed down to him, while more ostentatious buildings rose up around it. Now he’s going to take the time to build something better, something he can be proud to call his home.

Profession… former fabricator of architectural models. But now his full-time job is battling stage four pancreatic cancer. The doctors haven't even pretended that treatment is an option. He’s just working on his house every day. He is consumed by it.

Interests… catching up with his son. George knows he’s going to die soon, and he wants to connect with his son Sam before it’s too late. The only problem is that Sam is completely uninterested. Still, George is determined. “If he leaves, I will follow him up there and I will drag him home by his nose ring.  He can hate me. He's my son. He's sixteen. That's it.”

Relationship Status… divorced. Robin was never sure George really loved her when they were married. Then once she became sure he loved her, she was unsure she loved him. Now she regrets it – she admits she's been wrong a lot in her life. This might be the last chance they have to fix what was wrong between them.

Challenge… finishing the house. One of his neighbors is adamant his home has exceeded its approved height.  He's filed to have construction stopped immediately. After George’s last extension request and with Design Review and the Board of Adjustment and the appeals to the city council, the permit wasn't amended but he went ahead with construction anyway. Now it's catching up with him.

Personality… serious and determined. Before the diagnosis, nothing in his life felt right. Now, when George is up on the roof, tearing it down and breaking a sweat, he feels stronger than ever. He’s happy and at peace. Chalk it up to the sound of the waves or the weather, but life suddenly became simpler than it ever had been. It hadn’t been so simple in so long. 

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