Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Last night it rained.  And by rained, I mean OH MY GOSH ITS POURING IS THAT LIGHTNING GOING TO HIT MY HOUSE THAT THUNDER BETTER NOT WAKE UP MY BABY.  In D&D lingo, it was epic level rain.  It was still raining this morning when I got Gareth to daycare and it was sprinkling by the time I was leaving the house to go to work.  And on the way to my car, I stopped, in the drizzle, without my umbrella, to watch as water poured out of my lawn onto the sidewalk and street.  It was like the movement of a small creek or a water hose turned on low. Out of the lawn.

The last time I saw something like this, it turned out the pipes to the water heater had BURST and were flooding under the house.  BTW, the house is on a pier-and-beam foundation, so there's a crawlspace under the house with an access portal in the guest room closet.  So instead of getting in the car and driving to work, I went back inside, found a flashlight and pulled open the crawlspace portal to get a look.  And this is what I saw:

The water level is within 16 inches of the bottom of my house.  That's not awesome.  So I sat there, looking at the flooded foundation of my house and thought - "Really?! This too?!"  And after pouting for a few moments, I called my father-in-law.  Long story short - it's just that much rain.  I don't have any broken pipes or burst valves, just a house on a hill beneath many other houses and a place for all the water to accumulate.  Lucky me.  

And then I got to work and that was fine until Gareth's pediatric GI specialist called to tell me he needs to start taking Nexium everyday to relieve his acid reflux (what?!) and that he needs to get a blood panel done to see if he has Celiac disease (WHAT?!).  And I cried when I got off the phone.  Because...well...it was just one more thing on my big pile of "DAMN IT I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS!"

I know that flooded foundations can be pumped clear, that reflux is treatable, that celiac is something that millions of people live with.  I know that.  But what I also know is that just because you can withstand a punch in the face doesn't mean you have to like withstanding several in a row.  And God knows, I feel like I've been worked over by a young Muhammad Ali.

My therapist tells me that some people collapse under the weight of tragedy and catastrophe, that they become zombies - unable to shower, work, eat, carry on their responsibilities.  And right now, that sounds like a delightful respite - to be able to just STOP coping with the painful punches that keep hitting me, to just let someone else deal with it.   But I'm not there yet, and I hope I never will be.  I know that I can keep moving, keep measuring out medicines, keep taking Gareth to doctor's appointments, keep adjusting our meals to accommodate intestinal issues, keep visiting Cliff in jail, keep managing the house, keep doing my job.  I know this partly because I have the support and partly because I've learned that I'm not the collapsing type.  I don't enjoy the punches to the face, but I know that I can withstand them.  Because I already have.

You know that saying "God never gives you more than you can handle?" I think that's wrong.  I don't think God is the one doing the "giving" of my myriad trials and tragedies.  How about this instead - "When you can't handle one more thing, God handles it with you."

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Hi there, we haven't met, but I am Cliff Lusk(from Truett)'s wife. Something you said in the last paragraph is very similar to something our pastor said last Sunday: God always gives us more than we can bear, but not more than we can bear together.