In the last few days, a lot has happened. We lost all our power for three days. We lost all of our food. We lost the ability to use our water without boiling it for fear of contamination. We lost our reprieves in the shower, in the kitchen, in the living room. We lost a battle with our daughter who screamed bloody murder, in the dark, unable to see her well enough to determine cause. We lost our patience. We lost our pride. Lost.
We talked with and prayed for friends who lost their homes. Lost the streets they have lived on for years to the surging water. Children who lost their clothes right before the first day of school. Lost their favorite books, toys, electronics. Lost.
We grieved with our own family who lost a loved one. Lost.
We lost opportunities. Lost access to transportation. Lost faith in the strength of one of the pillars we have built our little life around.
And we started reading again. For fun. For purpose. For interest. For growth. We lit candles and reminisced about the scent- “Doesn’t this one smell like our old apartment? Doesn’t it remind you of the time when…” We ate together. All the ice cream first. For lunch. We drank all the wine I had been saving for a special occasional yet to be determined. And it was good. We went to bed at 9 because it was too dark to do anything else. We were flooded with offers of meals, of water, of housing. We actually hung out with our neighbors-not just a hello in passing on the way to taking out the garbage-and found them to be extraordinarily kind, giving people. All of them. On the entire block.
I learned how loud my own thoughts were when there was nothing to distract or silence them and realized that I worry much more than I even thought I did and had been drowning them out with music. With television. With this blog. So I didn’t have to address the ache in my jaw from clenching, the tension headaches at 4 o’clock. The bottle of advil that replaced my lipgloss in my purse. The overwhelming dread that consumes me every time my baby cries for fear that something horrific has happened that I was unable to prevent. And I was able, then, to vocalize my irrational concerns to God and to my husband and take steps outside of my anxiety to see the bigger picture.
We gained new opportunities and perspectives to replace the old ones. New things to consider. To pray about. Big things. Small things.
We watched Ellie grow in inches, in smiles, in brown rice cereal. In hating bananas and long sleeves.
In the last few days we’ve lived more life, more honestly. More humbly. More messy- though it pains me to write this in incorrect grammar. More raw, more true, more purposeful. And much, much more grateful than ever before.