I feel like a whirlwind came in and rearranged my house, heart and mind. How many disasters and crisis can one person or family have (in our case a string of them crashing into our family over three weeks’ time)?
A leak by the clothes washer and a sound like the croak of a frog as I step on the wood-looking laminate flooring in the kitchen starts off the dirt devil, domino effect. I rather be a bird that skims the water on a lake than having that water creep into and damage my home. Oh to ride the current. Flap my wings. Sail.
Instead I find myself dealing with insurance companies, restoration crews and contractors.
One puddle of water turns into a small stream quietly flowing from the bottom of our rusted out water heater. We missed that one until my husband set out to investigate. I’m sure glad he did. And at the same time I’m thinking not again. This happened 11 years ago. There was carpet. Mold. Yuk! I even lost my voice from black mold.
Once again I’m on the phone with our insurance agent. A week goes by, a good distraction from my dad’s scheduled open heart surgery. I try to convince my mom, a retired recovery room nurse, that things will go well. She knows too much of what can go wrong. So I make it my mission to remind her of the hope we have in Christ. The Healer.
I find myself juggling grandkids, work, writing, mentoring (no I put that on hold for two weeks), animals, and a restoration crew in my house, placing 12 large fans blowing hot air onto my floors and into my torn open walls and cupboards. Thank goodness I don’t wear a wig. I smile because God gave me two handsome grandsons living with us this year who need me to smile, tickle, giggle and play games. We write stories instead of worrying about the inconvenience.
I come back from my dad’s successful open heart surgery a few days later (we make cow jokes now because he has a new cow heart valve and he smiles) to my son’s voice on the other line announcing we have no water. “It just stopped coming out of the faucet,” he said. I’m getting off the ferry and am five minutes from home. I drive up, check our well’s 3,000 gallon holding tanks and see they are nearly empty. I told back tears as I gaze at the horses. Images of hauling water run through my mind like an old movie. I rub my swollen wrist, not fully healed from a July horse accident. But I know nothing is put in front of me that I cannot handle.
“God, you have this,” I whisper.
But when I call my husband, the tears stream down my cheeks and I can’t stop them. He comforts me with promises of hope. You see he works out of town during the week. I wipe the tears and stand tall.
I walk in the door and notice the quiet. The fans are gone. A smile blooms on my face as I feel a sense of peace wash over me…like a shower. Too bad we don’t have water to take a real one.
Two days later repair men come and find our well pump is in good working order. Hurrah. He informs us we have a leak. Really? Where? I guess that’s the problem. He flips a switch that I failed to locate and the well begins to pump water. We figure the leak may be down by the horses. Again, not the first time. The holding tanks begin to fill. I smile. Relief fills me but its short lived. It took several days for the tanks to completely fill up and I haul water for a few days.
I’m in the house working my plan when my husband calls and tells me one of our nephews has fallen 30 feet from a cliff onto a bed of rocks. He’s in ICU and in an induced coma. I thought I was a little numb the night before, but I feel the force of his words and let the tears fall. “Okay, God. You have my attention. What do you want?”
I hear him say, “Trust me.” And I do. I try. It’s hard.
I go to my writer’s meeting in a nearby town a couple days later. I’m early and pull up to the carwash. I pay. Inching forward, I begin rolling up my window but not soon enough and water pulsates into my face. I slam my foot on the brake and haste to roll up my window. I sit in the car wash and laugh. I have nothing else but to laugh. Is this God’s sense of humor? I laugh all the way to my meeting because I realize I had pushed the deluxe button on the carwash panel and feel I got my money’s worth. My car is clean and so am I. At least my left side. I text my husband and he also smiles and laughs. I know he did by his reply. I hear God say, “You needed some fun in the midst of the gloom. I told you I would give you water, just didn’t say how.”
Three days later, Monday, and I have four grandkids: 5,4,2,1.5 years of age. They run and play in my torn-up house. While four areas of my home are in shambles, four young children play in harmony. I watch through fatigued eyes. I’m content.
The next day I sub for third grade. By the end of the day my energy seems depleted. I know the following day daycare is closed again, and I’ll have the grands. I pray for energy and patience.
Dad’s home and healing. Our water tank is full and I get to talk with my nephew on the phone. After hearing now much pain is in his voice, I hang up and allow tears to drop down my cheeks. I’m tired of crying. It’s too much. I wipe my face knowing he will heal in time. I look forward to seeing him in a couple days.
My heart aches, but I believe God. He says trust Me and I do. I try. It’s hard. But he’s faithful. I will.
A few more days and the phone call comes. A second nephew is in ICU after a motorcycle accident. Both nephews are on my husband’s side of the family. Once home, everyone jumps in their cars and heads to yet another hospital in another town. It’s there way. Family supports family. Staff at hospitals in our area realize when they have a Native American patient, the entire extended family comes. Not just a few. They accept this with open arms.
Today I learn my aunt only has a few days before she leaves this world for a better one. She beat cancer, but never recovered from the affects chemo had on her frail body. She’s still a hero in my heart. She’s who I wear pink for when I compete on my horse.
So I hear God say trust me. I do. I try. It’s hard. But he’s faithful. I will.