When we said goodbye to 2009 we said 2010 couldn't possibly be worse than its predecessor, we were hit hard financially considering our income solely survives on construction. Mostly new home construction at that, and we all know the crash we had. We knew times were still tough, but things had to get better, right? They had to.
But nothing else made 2009 so awful; looking back now it was purely superficial that we were so distraught. Oliver was born in 2009, wasn't that enough reason to celebrate a year? The year of the birth of our only son, our last baby, how dare we take that so lightly? How dare we complain about what we no longer have when we know we still had so much more than many? But isn’t that life, always putting things into perspective for us.
2010 started out just like every other year, filled with hope. Filled with thoughts for the future! Wonder what that year will hold with an anticipation that we keep filled with hope. Maybe this will be the year we find seizure control for Lily. An amazing contract that makes us lots of money. A new car! A winning lottery ticket! But then the year went on and it was just like 2009, well in fact financially speaking, a lot worse. Ouch. Its ok we’ll figure it out we say as we stress each month to make the mortgage payment, and all the other bills we managed to rack up in the years.
Then when I wasn’t even looking the big bad wolf comes and blows our home, and he blows it hard. The whole house shakes and everything falls, breaks and is in shambles. I am left sitting in a room that used to be my living room and nothing is where it was. It was a disaster. A complete and utter disaster. So what did I do? I start putting things back where they belonged. I cried and wiped my tears while I quickly put everything back where it was so it looks like there never was any disruption. How can I ever admit our home was so weak that the big bad wolf was able to blow it and ruin everything? So I cleaned, I swept, I got it almost back to where it was and then as if to say he was not through with us he comes back and blows our home again, but this time much harder and I can hear him say “Ha! Fix this!” and everything I put away was once again all over the place but this time this blow by him was worse, more damage, many more repairs were needed. And this time I don’t get up, I give up. I sat in my living room surrounded by another huge disaster, not knowing what to do. So I do nothing. I sit. I cry. I sit. I cry. My head is in my hands and I quit. I can’t get up. I can’t put things back. Things are broken. Things are ruined. Some things I cared dearly for were broken beyond repair. The mess I was once willing to clean up, was finally too big for my hands because my hands were tired. My only thought was there is nothing left for me to do but leave. Let someone else deal with this mess. I am too tired to fix this. I am too tired to care. I tried so hard to clean this up, but now I simply cannot. I am done.
So there I sat amongst all my stuff, misplaced, broken, some of no use. And from the corner of my eye I see a light, a man, long hair, lots of facial hair, a kind smile. He takes a book he sees on the floor and picks it up and places it on a shelf that wasn’t for books. Then he takes another book and places it next to the other. I mumble to him, that is not where the books go, but he smiles and places another on the shelf. Then he hands me a book, but I look away. He keeps putting books on the shelf.
Then my husband walks into the room, sees me, sees the mess and starts to sob. He falls to his knees; he is overwhelmed with grief and is paralyzed with fear. He tries to hold me, but I push him away. He tries to talk to me, but I turn so I cannot hear him. This is his fault; he didn’t build a strong enough home. I hate him. I hate everyone. I hate everything. I even hate that kind man over there putting those books in the wrong place. Hate consumes me.
Then my husband sees the man and the man hands him a book, my husband looks at the book, at the shelf he is placing them on and at first looks confused, then looks at the man, smiles and walks over to that shelf and places the book on it. Then the two work together. I still sit unmoving. The man again offers me a book to put on the shelf but again I look away.
There still are books on the floor but my husband and the man start to move furniture around and not where it belongs. “The couch doesn’t go there” I mutter, but no one hears me. They keep putting things away in different places, but I start to notice they are placing these things in better spots. I wonder why I never thought of putting that chair over there. I watch the two men smile and laugh while putting this home back together. I sit in awe. My feelings of hate start to fade and maybe I don’t want to leave after all, I’ve never seen my husband work so hard on anything before. He and that man are determined to put this home back together. My heart starts to soften some but I don’t really want to help them yet. I just sit and watch.
Then the man hands me a book. I look up at him and look down, feeling guilty, but not ready to help. The two men continue to work. They continue to put the home back together.
The man again comes to me and hands me a book, this time I take the book, and I walk the book over to that shelf, the wrong shelf, the shelf that was not intended for my books and place the book on that shelf. Then the man hugs me and lets out a loud glorious laugh and I can’t help but join him. Then the man points to my husband, and we walk towards each other, hug each other and we cry. Then together all three of us work together to put things away. Some things were broken and never got to go back at all, something things we managed to glue together and others stayed unchanged just in a different place.
Hardly anything went back where it belonged but it all went together so much nicer than before. Every once in awhile I get annoyed when I forget where that cup goes and I curse the big bad wolf for changing everything so completely. I curse his evil heart; I curse how he ruined our home and then just disappeared, no concern, no sympathy. No intention to help, but to move on and ruin other homes. But at that moment when I feel that hurt swell, I look over at that kind man with the long hair and warm smile and he smiles at me and gives me his hand and lets me squeeze it. We talk about the anger and we talk about that big bad wolf and pray that one day his heart will soften and while I do this that swelling of anger releases.
But the best part of all is when it is dusk and still, I look around at everything and think this is how it should have always been. I am happy for the changes. The way things were was never forgotten and sometimes I miss my old book shelf, even though the new one fits so much better. It took awhile to get used to but I’m grateful now to have things where they belong, where they always should have been. If the big bad wolf never blew our house and left it in utter dismay, we would have never welcomed HIM back in to help us put things in the proper place. We would have continued walking around banging our shins and stubbing our toes, never looking to HIM asking where should this go?
Now our home has a shield around it, it is built not with only bricks and cement but also a form of unity that the big bad wolf cannot penetrate. It is watched over by HIM and we are no longer defenseless.
2010 shook us to our core. But had it never broken us, we would have never learned how to repair us.
So bring it on 2011! Our priorities are set. Our shields are on. There will never be another 2010 as long as we live, in reality or theory. And while the big bad wolf may come again to rear its ugly head, we are prepared and we say bring it on!
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