Nearly two years to the day, I wrote about getting a little perspective. Funny, but I’m back in the same place.
We spent November sharing a nasty cold from one member to the next. It hung on at least two weeks per family member and it spared no one. Then, last Wednesday, a freak chain of events led to a flooded crawl space and a therefore flooded water heater. From Wednesday until Friday we had no hot water. None. The hubby and I were showering at the Y. The kids were getting sponge baths that we told them were space baths like the astronauts do it (hey, it worked). I was heating up water on the stove to fill the sink to wash our dishes. Thankfully, we got the pilot light relit Friday on a fluke…only for it to go out again today. Looks like our glee at avoiding a several thousand dollar new water heater expense around the holidays was short lived.
Friday, I got a stomach bug. And although it could have been much worse, I was really not myself until Sunday afternoon. Monday, work began in the house to remediate mold found in our crawl space and attic. I can’t tell you how stressful of a project that has been to ensure the kids are safe during the process not to mention having to turn our heat off during some of the coldest days Atlanta’s seen in December in years while they cleaned the HVAC (um, Brrr?). Then, Peanut got the stomach bug Tuesday night.
Luckily, on the brink of falling into my own pit of self-indulgent pity, I was hit again by the perspective stick. Tonight, I’m making dinner for a neighbor’s family. A neighbor who at 46 was struck by heart failure and a series of set backs that laid him out so badly in ICU he was given a one percent chance of survival forcing his wife to prepare their two daughters for daddy’s death. That was several weeks ago and through the power of love and prayer and sheer determination, he is coming home soon. He has miles to go, but he’s alive and ready to take those miles on.
Then, there was the mail today. The arrival of a Christmas card. From my aunt. Signed with a single name. The absence of a name on the card speaking louder than my aunt’s neat, nun-taught script.
As I filled the sink for tonight’s primitive dish washing episode and planned tomorrow’s schedule around an early work out just to earn a shower at the Y, I took a deep breath. Although my problems are still annoying. Although the sicknesses and the caring of the sicknesses have left me exhausted. Although our wallets are not enjoying the Friday installation of our new (tankless!) water heater. I have my boys. I have the hubby. I have the promise of our blank Christmas tree awaiting trimming.
And I will enjoy all of them a little bit more thanks to this year’s perspective.