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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Same...

So I guess that yesterday was the 9 month "anniversary" of May 22nd.

Strange that I didn't realize that until this morning.

To be fair...things have been pretty busy around here...

All of the males have been sick and are on antibiotics...
I spent Tuesday traveling to Kansas City for my follow up (all good thank you God!)...
I couldn't carry a bag of groceries by myself until yesterday...
The dog impaled himself on a wire fence...
Homework and tests...
Basketball and tennis...
Coordinating a visit from Watoto....
Life blah blah life blah life.....

But I guess, in the healing sense, it's good I was able to "miss" the date and not focus on it.

But you know what's interesting?

(To me, anyways...)

Yesterday after I dropped the kids off at school I decided to take a drive around our old neighborhood.

I hadn't been there for at least a month...and my friend told me that the house going up on "our" lot was making some serious progress.

So I thought I'd scope it out.

The 'hood looks 231 billion times better than it did on May 23rd.
Or June 30th.
Or even August 2nd.

Compared to a "normal" neighborhood though.....
It still looks like it's been through some hideous traumatic event.

(imagine that)

Yes...there are quite a few houses that are finished and beautiful...
But they sit next to dirt-filled lots scattered with home-remains.

And the trees...
That's just sad.

So many are gone....and so many of the remaining ones are...well....

I think a lot of us have learned to identify a tree that has been through a tornado.
It's easy to tell if they're laying on the ground or have beautiful metal garland (made from bumpers or stair railings or only the dear Lord knows what) laced through them....

But even the "undecorated" ones aren't "normal" looking.

They are standing, but many be leaning weirdly.
They have some branches, but they are cut off close to the trunk.
There may be some "twigs" coming off, but they are obviously new

I don't know if I'm describing this very well....but if you've seen these trees, you know what I mean.
They are a very obvious sign that  MR. EF-5 WAS HERE!!!!

Anyway...that's what my the old neighborhood is full of.

Then there's "my" lot.

They are building it on the concrete footprint of our it's sort of similar in shape...almost.
And it's in the same yard...almost.
And it's in the same neighborhood.....almost.

In other's ALMOST the same, but it's some kind of weird alternate reality where things are similar enough to the original that you can recognize them...but different enough that you know it's NOT the same so you end up feeling...



It's like when I walked into the "new" (and by new I mean completely rebuilt after the original was completely destroyed) Chick-Fil-A or the "new" Walmart.

It was was the same store....but it wasn't the same place.

The flowers were on the tables....but they were different colors.
The greeter was at the door...but the door had moved to the right a few feet.
The produce section aisles were slanted...but in the opposite direction.


So as I sat in my car and stalked took a quick peek at the house going up....
...I felt unsettled.

Where Bennett's windows should have been was only a roof...
....but the garage windows were the same.
Where our big bay window used to be was a blank wall....
....but the walk-out door was the same.
Where Ethan's whole room should have been was obvious attic-only space....
...but the front steps were still there.
Where the 3-trunked birch tree stood was now a 2-trunked tree....
....but it was in the right spot.
Where we once had a great backyard was mud and trash and no fence....
...but the deck door still opened up right to it.

And then there were the neighbors houses.

The ones that are completely gone....well...I'm almost used to that look.

But the ones that have been "repaired"...


They are almost the same, but they are not.
They are half siding instead of all brick...
or they are black instead of tan...
or they are stone instead of stucco.

It's the "almost-sameness" of them in the background of the "almost-mine" house that just completely throws me off.

I mean....
My exact same mailbox is there.
My house isn't.
My forsythia are blooming.
My entire garden is missing.

I will tell you that it IS a comfort to see A structure on that once-razed lot.
And I am sure it will be a beautiful house enjoyed by a wonderful family.

But I guess it was just a little bit of a shock to my system to see it be so similar/different to ours.

Maybe when we have our "forever home" that I can work on making into a real
HOME for us I won't have that "unsettled" feeling.

I know and feel and believe that our family is rooted in Christ...and that (as the song says):

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.

I do know this.

But I also have realized that I like making an earthly HOME for my family.

And since we aren't investing (financially emotionally time-wise) into our temporary place....I can't do that now.

Haven't been able to for a while.
(9 months and a day, in fact)

And that's ok.

But I am seriously looking forward to settling somewhere.

I would be such a bad wandering gypsy.

So...after all this rambling....I still think it's kind of interesting:

That I went back to the house on the 9 month anniversary.
That I came away feeling comforted and unsettled.
That I didn't drive straight to Shake's.

And maybe that's I was driving past the ponds in front of our old neighborhood yesterday and saw all the yellow and orange-vested people cleaning out the tornado debris from the water...I didn't cry.

And maybe that's I drove down 20th street today and saw strips of sheet metal wrapped around a tree....I did cry.

Healing is an up-and-down journey.
Make sure your seat belt is cinched tightly.

Moments and anniversaries and reminders will happen....
And they may surprise you.

You may find yourself crying when you find a piece of insulation-mixed-with-leaves in your jewelry box.
You may discover that you're unable to sleep when the winds are gusting.
You may decline buying a new purse and throw your friends into complete shock because you've discovered that you only need one.
You may realize that YOU can't sleep at night without giving your kids "one more hug".
You may find you have to leave a conversation in tears when someone re-tells a tornado story.
You may find you have to leave a conversation in tears when someone complains about stupid trivial issues.
You may find yourself sobbing at The Incredibles (see this blog post) or Star Wars movies (or this post).

It's ok, I guess.

Learning how to handle these completely random and unexpected emotional "slaps" will certainly help us learn how to deal with our teenagers one day.....right?

Healing and growing, I think, happen together.

And they are both good things.

Ad I don't think it's wrong to want to be settled in our "earthly" life....
as long as my root reaches a lot lot lot deeper.

And I think that Shake's was meant for anniversaries...
and since I kind of missed yesterday....
I can go have some tonight.

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