3 weeks ago just as I was settling in for the night, this random storm hit out of no where. It had been a rainy day, but I had not anticipated anything like this as I am a bit of a self confessed weather geek.
I was upstairs, as I heard the winds pick up outside pretty quickly. I decided it was best to go to the main floor of the house, as soon as I got there I heard all kinds of debris hitting the house, i immediately headed to the basement!
As I took refuge in the basement I could hear the chaos outside, I heard all kinds of “big things” hitting the house and I heard several trees fall in the woods. And just as I was about to cower under the steps in the basement, the storm stopped! I emerged from the basement and made my way outside onto the deck.
It was dark out but I could tell there was damage to my deck and the yard, but I could not see the woods.
So I anticipated sunrise the next morning so I could get a better idea of the damage. As soon as there was enough light I was out checking things out.
Now please keep in mind, I did have damage, but in the big scheme of things, it really wasn’t that bad.
So I was surprised at my reaction. As I surveyed the woods…….. my beloved woods, I got a little emotional and overwhelmed by the damage. In the 20 years we have lived here I have never seen it this bad. There were some 10-12 trees down between our house and the neighbors and I had some minor damage to our deck, some siding and the gutters. But just looking at the carnage of it all really got to me. I survived the storm fine, but it was seeing the wrath of it all laid out before me that really got to me.
The aftermath of the storm got me thinking……that is kind of how my life has been the last 5 years…….a STORM! It has been chaotic on so many different levels, working full time and raising two busy, sports minded teens and taking care of dear hubs has been a storm. I can not even begin to describe the constant chaos and surging emotions that we have dealt with the last 5 years. But alas, both kids are off to college and Curt is well cared for at a memory care facility…..and I am left home to survey the “storm damage” from the last five years.
When your life is crazy you focus on the big picture and learn to leave some of the details behind. You learn to look beyond the giant clothes pile on the floor and focus on the fact that you have clothes to wear to your job/school each day, you let the garage go and just throw junk in there that you are too busy to think about what to do with it, your landscaping over grows, you have dog pee on your carpets and you don’t care, you don’t follow up with routine household maintenance, you miss your dentist appointments and the dog doesn’t see the vet for 2 years….you get the picture…..and you know what, it’s ALL OK…..you are too busy to deal with the details, you surviving each day.
But now, I am slowly picking up the pieces of the chaos. People often ask me what I am doing now that I am an “empty nester”
Well let me assure you sipping tea and reading a book isn’t in picture quite yet. There is still much to take care of, catch up on, and slowly start to return some degree of normalacy to our very not normal life. It is like I am slowly re-entering the world again.
It’s a real weird place to be right now, I miss Curt terribly. The Curt I visit every day is sweet, cute and so endearing. While I am happy he is that way… Curt was not a cute, endearing guy. He was man’s man, he hated to shave, he sweated up a storm while playing drums, he watched football with a passion and yelled loudly at the TV during a game, he ranted about politics and trash talked anyone about his Eagles, he loved to pitch baseball endless hours to Tyler and had a goofy engaging sense of humor. That was my honey! :) And I miss that guy.
But through all of this the ONE thing that remains constant with Curt is his passion for the Lord! He loves when I pray with him, he verbally eeks out those amens as we pray together. He still cries every time I play the Chris Tomlin song, “I Will Rise” and he sits so calmly when I read the bible to him.
Yes it’s been a STORM, But God reminds me constantly of Job 2:10, when Job speaks to his wife and says:
..You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?……
And the words of Philippians 4:11 frequently echo in my mind:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, FOR I HAVE LEARNED IN WHATEVER SITUATION I AM TO BE CONTENT.
It’s hard, honestly it sucks at times…….. but do you see the word learned? It’s a reminder to me that I am learning, it’s a process. Some days are really harder than others….but I am learning to be content and TRUST God’s plan in the storm.
~And our crazy journey continues, as I met with an elder care attorney today to make plans for the future and will probably have to move Curt to a new facility. Things get kind of complicated as we run out of money to private pay in March, so I am checking into Medicaid funding for Curt. Prayers are appreciated as we move forward, there are no real easy answers in terms of funding with this disease.
Curt on the other hand is actually doing pretty well. He was recently taken OFF of hospice care since his weight remains stable and he has not had as many falls. He has been stable for the last 6-8 months or so. He laughs a lot, eats well, is tired frequently, his face lights up when he sees me and still knows the kids and his friends and family. He loves to listen to music, and will often say with clarity when listening to music when a cool drum part is coming up….”wait for it” He rocks out to that 80’s rock, stuff he played in his teen years. His speech is hard to understand, I only know about 10% of what he says. But he smiles a lot and that makes a hard pill a bit easier to swallow. :)
The kids and I at Liberty Univ. about 3 weeks ago on a lovely fall weekend. Pressing on and making new memories. Trusting the Lord and His Plan.