This is a simple story of a simple family trying to slow down this crazy life and enjoy the "moments"...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just Fine....

Last night after putting the kids in bed, RH (who, as we know, does his very best to stay relatively unaffected by the girly emotional world) says, "It's hard to believe that THIS (gesturing around him) is our real house now."

Then as I picked my jaw off of the carpet he did a pretty good job of summing up what I have been unable to successfully put into words: "I mean, before today, we had our other house.  Even though it wasn't "ok", it was still there.  It was still our house.  I almost felt like this house was a hotel.  Not anymore though.  This is all we have now."

And with that, he turned around, walked off, and probably looked for something very manly and tough to do.


I get it.

The sense of "home base" has been completely severed and is in the process of being re-grafted.

You see, yesterday we bulldozed the remains of the old house.

How weird does that sound/feel to say?!

There is nothing but a gi-normous pile of rubble there now.  And that will be gone today.....scooped up by some huge machine thing and thrown into a gigantic dirty black truck to be hauled off to some enormous dumping site.


And then there will be NOTHING there.  Nothing of the house, that is.  Or the several tree stumps that the huge bulldozer thing plucked out of the ground. 

But my forsythia on the corner are there.
And my mailbox.
And the tree house (for now, until we cut it down and bring it "home").

I took one last walk around the yard as the demo crew removed all of the undamaged cabinets and everything else they thought might be usable for Habitat for Humanity.
As I rounded the house one of my dear friends showed up...sent expressly to me for a much needed boost of support and love.

We stood and talked for a moment....about our kids, life, nightmares and priorities. 

We looked at the house which was soon to be gone, and I told her that I was just fine with it.

That I knew my "home" was with my family....and that this structure in front of us was nothing but walls and a ceiling (or lack thereof!) and it was just fine to knock it down.

That the house had kept us safe, and now it was time for it to go and that was just fine.

I told her that this stupid tornado experience has helped me realize how incredibly important (and to be honest, incredibly logical and practical too) it is to root yourself in Christ...and let Him (rather than a structure) provide that sense of "home"....and that because I have Him I was just fine.

My friend looked me in the eye, and told me that she understood that I was just fine, but that it was also just fine to grieve the loss of something that had given my family a sense of home for so long.

Then the dear gal hugged me, spread her angel wings and flew off jumped back in the car with her daughter, and left.

Just fine.

Then a ginormous metal dinosaur began eating my house...loudly smacking it's huge iron head against the brick wall (knock knock who's there?  The house monster!) until it crumbled and the neighborhood could watch RH's fancy toilet careen down into the ruined air hockey table in the basement.


The sounds were eerily reminiscent of the ones we'd heard while hiding in the basement as the tornado ate it's way through the house.

My sil, RH, 2 great friends and I watched in utter shock and awe (but not really was just too weird and surreal) as the dinosaur took something that we'd thought was so solid and utterly crumbled it. 

Now I realize that the tornado has done that to a fourth of my town....but I didn't actually SEE that happening.  I only saw the aftermath.  To SEE the destruction occurring (and occurring voluntarily) was rather bizarre, to be honest.

Once the dinosaur trainer dozer-driver had finished the side of the house he drove around the front.

Then he asked me if I'd like to do the final knock-down myself.

Yeah.  I think that would be just fine.
Interesting, even.

I climbed in, and after a brief tutorial drove the lifted grappling arm into Ethan's wall. 

Down came the bricks and the remaining dormer.

Then I backed it up, and out came his window seat with the 3 red (moldy) cushions on it.
And then I put the grappling arm into his green and blue room (that my mom and I had painted) with all of the Star Wars jedis on the walls and smashed them.
Then I backed up and watched his little spider-man lamp tumble down into the mess below.
Then I realized how hard I was crying.

The driver asked me if I was ok, and I told him I was just fine.

And I asked him if he could smell the lavender from my plants that were being crushed beneath the treads of the bulldozer.

He said it smelled nice, and I agreed and kept crying and used the dinosaur head to smash through the old wooden bookshelf that was in my kids' hallway.

Soon I climbed out because I think I was freaking the driver out a bit so the driver could re-align the machine, and let RH do the final knock-down.

Then, it was done.  My friends left.  RH left. The volunteers from Ft Worth across the street (who stopped to watch and film the demo) left, and it was just me.

I looked at the rubble pile that looked just the same as all of the rubble piles all across Joplin.

I prayed, and cried a little.

I thanked God for giving us that house to keep us safe...
for giving us such a wonderful place to call home for 7 years...
and for all of the memories we'd created in that house.

Then I thanked Him for a new place to call "home"....
for giving me my amazing family and friends to fill that home with laughter and new memories...
for staying so ever-present and faithful to me...
and for sending me someone to tell me that it was ok to be sad when I said good-bye to our old house.

Then I picked up the little "Atlanta Braves" stuffed baseball that had rolled out of the pile of bricks and insulation and furniture and glass....

and I went home to my kids.


Beth U. said...

Beautifully expressed Shannon. May His comfort be yours. Isaiah 61

MomBE said...

I have been sorting out my thoughts on how to articulate how your words have moved me, and there are no words. Thank you for sharing your experience. {love}

Ashley B. said...

Oh, Friend. I'm thinking about you and praying for your family from way over here across the ocean. May the Lord God continue to keep you safe and secure from the dangers of this world, but never, ever safe from His Holy Spirit.

Lisa from Michigan said...

Shannon....being so far from my old home town I have not cried about it all yet. This did it. Thank you!
You are an awesome Godly woman and I believe your testimony will bring many others to Him also!

Summer said...

I can only pray for the same faith you have, when the time comes that I need it. You continue to amaze, impress, and teach me. Thank you.

Royce said...

Shannon, I do not know you but your words have traveled through cyberspace by, who knows, who's postings on FB, and touched me immeasurably. Thank you for sharing in such an unabashed way. God is working in and through you, reaching out to me!

The Fruitful Family said...

Honey- I can't imagine the emotions you felt during all of this. But I love that you KNOW that you are storing up treasure iheaven-where moth and rust ( and tornados) cannot destroy. My love, thoughts and prayers go out to you.

dcaputo said...

Thank you for sharing, your writing is beautiful.

Thinking of you all.

Vicki said...

Hi Shannon,
I don't know you, but a friend posted a link on FB this morning to your blogpost about "Keep on Swimming," so I found your blog. I love your style and your open & honest way of writing. I've been sitting here reading all of your posts since the tornado. We live in Joplin also, but not directly affected by the tornado.

You've expressed the many thoughts and feelings I've had even though we still have a house. This post especially was a tough one to read.... trying to imagine being the one to control the monster eating up my beloved home. I cried all the way through reading it.

I'm so glad that God has been sending so many blessings your way and that you and your family are safe and in a new home where you can make new memories. : )

Blessings & prayers for you & your family!