Hurricane of Life

Personally, the last couple of years have been pretty rough but this past year has been total murder! I’m talking about having everything and anything that could go wrong happen. It really does happen like dominoes. One falls then another and another and another. Stop! I don’t even know how to play dominoes! Yes, it is frustrating. No other word really describes it.

I’ve struggled to figure out how and why this has happened to us. It started with trying to help aging parents.  Then we had a house that we had someone renting who stopped paying and started wrecking things instead. Then we had lay-offs. My husband got hit with two in six months. We decided to start a business instead of trying for jobs due to needing to take time off for parents. Then bam! Things with all four of our parents went downhill fast. In an eight month period, we got to work on our business maybe one month total. The rest of the time was given to the parents and their care. Then we found ourselves broke, facing foreclosure, and a giant tax bill. We had enough money to survive two years while getting the business going but things with the parents made that run out in a year. Seriously. All this at once plus a lot more.  Why?!?

We have been banging our heads against the wall trying to figure out how and why things happened the way they did.  On top of everything, I have four sisters and my husband has two brothers.  Very little help from any of them!  The one who has been most helpful is my nephew and his wife. We wouldn’t have made it without them helping take care of my parents’ house. One of my husband’s brothers came through for us and helped us stop from going into foreclosure.  The part that makes no sense is we had to ask him for a loan when we’re the ones paying to help the parents. I know, makes no sense.

I’ve been scratching my head trying to understand it all.  We were doing great with quite a bit saved back and the next minute we are broke and trying to figure out how to pay our water bill.  How in the world can things turn so quickly?  Were we bad people? We helped all that we could along the way.  Were we being taught a lesson? Things had been easy so did we need to learn how to struggle?  We had already been there before so I’m hoping we didn’t need a refresher course.

I find myself talking to God, the Universe, whoever might be pulling the strings and ask why are we getting so many challenges.  I have read anything and everything I can from all the personal gurus about changing my attitude to change my life.  Can you have mental blocks that repel money?  Is this karma?  It is amazing how your mind starts looking for reasons and answers. We never like to think that bad things can keep happening over and over without a break without a reason.  If it can happen, then what makes it finally stop?

Then Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.  That’s when everything made perfect sense.  We’re all part of nature.  They say we are all made of energy that is in a constant flow of life.  So is it a far stretch to say that we are all subject to the forces of nature?

We live in South Texas near San Antonio.  They told us to get prepared since it should bring torrential rainfalls on our part of Texas due to Harvey.  So we brought everything in from outside and faced the long lines at the grocery store to get food to last for a few days.  Harvey hit and so did the rain.  It was the slowest, softest rain you have ever seen. We barely got two inches over the whole four days.  What we got though was a few days to actually work on things for us.  We gave ourselves time for ourselves while the winds spun about outside.  I got to finally clean carpets.  I didn’t realize how much I needed that. It made me feel normal again. It’s strange how comforting normal can be.

What happened to the other parts of Texas didn’t go as well as it did in our area.  It turns out that the cool front that came in before Harvey left drier air on top of us and kept away the rain.  The Texas coast wasn’t that lucky.  They were devastated.  One of the groups I belong to wanted to do something to help.  They asked for volunteers who own trailers to help deliver donations.  We decided that we are lucky despite everything and should help. So we went down with the others to deliver supplies.  One lady I spoke with said she was so grateful for the supplies.  She said they simply didn’t prepare enough for the storm.  That’s when things really started to click for me.

Weather isn’t the only force of nature.  Everything has an ebb and flow. The thing to remember is you have no control over that ebb and flow.  You can only be prepared but sometimes you don’t prepare enough.  The best thing to do is be overly prepared and then have nothing happen. It isn’t a waste. The bad part is that it can create a false sense of security so you don’t prepare enough for the next storm.  That is what happened to us.

My husband and I were hit by the hurricane of life.  I’d say it was about a category 3 storm that hit us.  It could have been a lot worse.  If you look back over all that happened this past year, it was our preparations that helped us weather the storm as long as we did. If we hadn’t made the preparations that we did, we would have gone down with the ship months ago.  Getting hit with the hurricane of life makes the most sense when explaining why and how everything happened at once.  We weren’t bad people being punished.  It wasn’t karma.  It wasn’t God giving challenge after challenge to us because we were strong and could handle it.  It was multiple circumstances that were drawn together and swirled into this big storm that stalled out on top of us.

Something amazing happened in Houston yesterday.  The sun came out.  Something amazing happened at our house too.  Blue skies and sunshine.  Just like so many on the Texas coast, we have debris to pick up out of our lives so that we can get busy rebuilding. Starting over sucks but at least we have the chance to try.

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