The past month has been interesting……very interesting, indeed. They say bad things happen in 3’s, and I say whoever ‘they’ are have it right. Trials and tribulations are a part of life and we have had our fair share through the years. However, this set of troubles has truly shown me how our faith in God has grown, and that even as bad as everything has been, we can still praise Him. We never lost our faith and He carried us though these events, sparing us from results that could have been disastrous.
#1 The Fire: I am meticulous about maintaining and keeping my home in tip-top shape. During our fall cleaning back in September, my Dad and husband did some repairs on our fireplace and chimney that were suggested to us from the chimney sweep guys that had cleaned it last year. There were tiles loose on the floor of our fireplace and mortar needed to be added to our bricks and chimney top. A friendly neighbor even gave us an awesome set of fireplace doors that would cut down tremendously on drafts when the fireplace is not in use. We were prepared and ready for a warm and cozy season……or so we thought.
Every year we make sure that we have seasoned wood to burn and that we keep up with our ashes. Yet, the third fire of the season proved that not all was what it seemed. We were all sitting around the living room enjoying our family time and the comfortable warmth that comes from our fires, when I heard something weird. It sounded like a tornado was going on in our chimney. The fire blazed super bright and seemed to be racing up the flue. We all sat up and began to wonder what that was, when Casey spotted sparks flying down outside the window. When we got outside, it became apparent that there was a fire inside our chimney.
The smoke alarms started going off and Dave worked smart by putting the fire out in the fireplace while I got everyone out of the house. We were blessed by quick responding firemen, a ‘small warning fire’ that did not damage any part of our house except inside the chimney, and no smoke or water damage. We learned that we had received bad advice to have the chimney cleaned every 2 years instead of after every cord of wood…….and we burn 2 to 3 cords per winter! After having the chimney inspected the next day, we learned that the lining is destroyed and we cannot burn fires unless our landlord choses to replace the old flue. The first of our 3 woes was scary and our house does not heat properly without the fires, but we are still thankful that it was not much worse.
#2 The Virus: There is a saying……’When Mama’s down, the house is down’ Boy, was I down. What was thought to be the flu, turned out to be bronchitis, and it knocked me on my rear for two whole weeks……TWO WEEKS! For all of those other mothers out there, we know that two weeks of being unable to walk around for more than 10 minutes without being physically drained, not being able to stay awake for longer than a 2 hour stretch, or being too sick to be around their precious little ones is a nightmare that we chose not to think about. When it actually happens to you, it is worse than imagined, and your well-organized and tightly-run home turns into a free-for-all mess that takes weeks to get back in order once the illness has passed.
God blessed me AGAIN though! My sweet and amazing daughter Casey kept the nightmare from turning into a night terror. She kept our family’s head above water, tending to the kids, making meals, and trying her best to keep up with household chores. I think she matured 2 years in that 2 week period, and I dare say she will make one fantastic wife and mother one day! My Mama came to our rescue with 2 of my favorite meals, and Dave and DJ chipped in with help for the first week………the second week that I was sick, the third bomb went off……..and this final calamity had saved the very worst for last.
#3 The Fall: To those who know us, Dave and I are not just a married couple……we are the best of friends, soul mates, and split-aparts. I am nothing without him, and he is nothing without me. He is the bread to my butter, the coffee to my creamer, and the best decision I have ever made was marrying that beautiful man. The thought of losing each other is too much to bear thinking about, but 2 weeks ago I had to do just that…….face a night with the horror of possibly losing my other half.
I was laid up on the sofa, near comatose from a fever, when the doorbell rang. Dave and DJ were outside hanging our Christmas lights, because I am an idiot and I like to decorate for Christmas right after Halloween is over. The front door was open, so at first Casey and I ignored it thinking that DJ was foolin’ around. Then it rang again. I looked up and saw a Metallica t-shirt through the glass and my heart stopped. I knew that the shirt must belong to my neighbor who is a metal head. I also knew that the only reason that he could be ringing my door bell was because something was really, really wrong……and it was.
I flew off the couch, out the front door, and around the corner. I heard the most heart-wrenching sound that I will carry with me for the rest of my days. My beloved husband was screaming my name as he lay on the ground. His head was steaming in the cold air as he sweated and writhed in pain. Our extension ladder was askew as it perched on the side of the house, and with a sickening dread I realized that he had fallen 15 feet from the roof. With wild eyes and an outstretched hand he continued to scream for me, and as I grasped his hand and crouched down to soothe him, my mind raced with prayers to my Father…….”Please let me keep him Lord, please do not take my precious Dave”.
God was listening, as He always is, and He granted my request. After a tearful ride in the ambulance, I pulled it together, praying continually. Our pastor sat with me while Dave was in x-rays, and was in the room when the doctors told Dave and I that no organ was harmed and no bone was broken, save for a single rib. My parents stayed with my 5 children, and my sister came to the hospital to attend to us. Every need was met, every tear was comforted, and ever prayer was answered. It was in this moment that I realized how blessed I am to be a child of God……to have a Lord and Savior who will comfort me and give me peace as I walk through the storms of life.
We are a little worse for wear right now, but are humbled by God’s love and protection. Dave returned to work a week after the accident, sore and in pain, but able to function. I still have the cough, but I am back to my old self……going 90 miles an hour, 7 days a week, caring for this big and crazy family that I love. Casey came down with the virus, and I have been paying her back for the tender care that she gave to me by waiting on her hand and foot while she recovers. The little ones all have the cough as well. DJ is the only one who is virus and pain free……..he better knock on some wood!
I am thankful that our waters are calm again, but when the storms come once more, I will not fear……..God is with us.
#3 The fall: