When it rains, it pours. Well, I've got my umbrella, Mickey Mouse pancho, boots, and I've ordered the sandbags.
The last year has been bountiful with ups and downs and plenty of rain storms, but I have been blessed in that, for the most part, they've been spread out and I've had time to dry a little before the next one hits. But the last 24 hours has been quite the opposite.
It started with a phone call last night. My dad's best friend passed away. He's been gradually getting sicker over the past year, having battled melanoma and a few other issues. He and my dad had been friends for as long as I could remember, he was the closest thing I had to a grandfather. (My mom's dad died before I was born, and Dad was never close to his dad. I hadn't seen him since I was 5 and he died when I was in middle school.) I'm going to miss him - he was a lot of fun.
I got to work this morning, and wad gifted with the information that my hours were getting cut - again. I work as an office manager for a courier company, where my dad is a dispatcher. I was already not looking forward to coming into work today, knowing that Dad was going going to be grieving. When the boss told me what had been decided over the weekend, I was shell-shocked. It was only a couple of months ago that I was complaining about working like fourteen days in a row, and now I'm getting cut down to two days a week. So now what do I do? I have to look for another job, but how are we going to balance something that fluctuating to our schedule?
I said to a friend of mine, "But there's this and that and the other thing, but I just don't know, but I can't." And then I realized just how horrible that sounded. I'm not pessimistic - I'm just scared.
As I was leaving my very difficult day of work, I called my husband so I could vent and gripe, and he greets me with the news that our apartment has flooded. Wait. What? I stopped right in the middle of the street and cried. I wasn't sure what else to do. They're replacing some of the water lines, and apparently the professional plumber in charge of the project failed to turn the water off of before cutting into the main water line. Really? No, wait. REALLY?? Even *I'm* not that daft!! Thankfully, nothing was really damaged. Just a lot of wet carpet, and that will dry and is getting cleaned tomorrow.
I realize that, in the grand scheme of life, none of these things are totally horrendous. But it just feels like we can't ever catch up. It is so hard to keep focused on the big picture. I am downtrodden today with worry and fear. Next week, Red turns 11. I'm not sure how we're going to be able to do anything that would honor him. I don't even mean a huge swinging bash ... I just mean something out of the ordinary that would signify the day. I'm tired of him having to sacrifice simply because "he's old enough to understand now". Just because he is, doesn't mean he should have to.
How does one face this much pain and adversity and not get completely buried in the muck? Finances, marital strain, schooling issues, doctor's appointments, folding laundry, cooking .... No matter how big or small, these life things can become our best friends and our worst enemies. They teach us life lessons. They empower us to strive for the very best while they make us run and hide under our covers. tonight is going to be a hiding under the covers night. Tomorrow? Tomorrow I'm going to get up and face my world head on, with all of the stubborn tenacity I can find. Because deep down, somewhere, I know that this is just another challenge - a life lesson. God has something amazing planned for me. I have gained so much in the obstacles and pitfalls in my life. I know that this is just going to be another learning experience.
Because more than anything else? God teaches us more than fluffy bunnies....