I think God, in all his wisdom, has been teaching me a lesson in gratitude and not overreacting to the minor inconvenience life throws our way that I talked about in my last post. They're why I haven't written anything for the past month. I've been both too tired and filled with self-reflexion to put words together in a coherent fashion. The events of the past few weeks have certainly given me a different perspective when it comes to complaining. And I'm not just talking about national and world events that show how desperately we need to put God first in our lives. He has a way of letting those of us who have faith in him better understand just how dependent we are on him for all the little things we take for granted on a daily basis.
My little journey began the last Saturday in July when I met my son's biological sister who had come from Texas to visit him. She wasn't feeling well, and I had the distinct impression that she had Covid. But I tried to put that off because I wanted to get to know every member of the family he had met a couple of years ago when he got a text from this same girl who said she was his biological sister. I had always known that both of my adopted children could one day meet members of the family that had given them away. My daughter had found hers a decade earlier and had basically written us off after realizing how much she was like her biological father, but my son had never really cared to meet his. Nonetheless, biology has a more direct link to a person than the people they are raised with so I've had some very difficult feelings to deal with while shedding a great many tears.
It was a good visit and she was very sweet. But some of the residual feelings I'd been trying to work through were still with me the next day when the worst storm our area had seen for years was predicted to arrive. I didn't think much about all the pelting rain that night until one of my neighbors called to see how I was doing and if I'd checked my window wells. I hadn't, but I did. The minute I walked into the basement I could hear water running down a wall behind the sofa. Of the six windows it was the only one affected. My neighbor helped bucket the water out, but half an hour after he was gone I had to climb down into the window well in the dark and bucket it out again. The rain was coming down so hard I was soaked to the skin, but I was able to keep it from getting inside again and clean up the mess the first round had made.
Tired, but grateful things had not been worse, I continued my week. On Tuesday morning my son called to tell me he had Covid and since I'd been exposed I needed to quarantine for a week to 10 days depending on whether or not I got any symptoms. Most all of us had already been vaccinated and other than a bad cough he said he was feeling okay. I didn't like missing 2 days of work but was okay with it because there was plenty to be done around the yard and house and I wanted to do my part in helping to stop the pandemic. But when he called a week later to say he was on his way to the hospital and I needed to come and get my granddaughter, I knew we were headed into a very bad stretch. Never in his life had I seen him as ill as he was when I went to his home to get her. He was having trouble even making it down half a flight of stairs.
To make a long story short, we were lucky as a family. He was only in the hospital for three days before he was able to come with oxygen. But he was still critically ill with his fever coming and going at will and was not able to keep anything down for two weeks before he lost his ability to taste anything. During that time, I got my granddaughter ready to start junior high since she and her dog were staying with me, ran numerous errands, cleaned their house, did their laundry, picked fruits and vegetables and made freezer jam. My daugher-in-law was exhausted just taking care of him. We also had another big storm, but after shoveling out all the mud that had run underneath the window well I was able to keep it from getting inside the house again. I had actually figured out why it had happened and dug up the extension on the rain gutter that had been put underground so it could drain onto the basketball court in my back yard. It wasn't a pretty fix, but it worked.
My granddaughter was able to go home the day before school started. I was counting my blessings profusely because my son had decided he was strong enough to go back to work, albeit with oxygen and coming home totally wiped out. But two days later I noticed that the box on the north of my house that contained valves and wires for the sprinkler system was filled with water. I had fixed 2 other leaks in the water lines less than a month before, but now I had to start digging again. Fortunately, another neighbor was able to help me repair it. While I have watched it done several times in the past, I knew I could never do it on my own. Every place it breaks is near a joint that is underneath another line. But when I went to fill in the hole I ended up tearing the hamstring in my right leg. So I've been icing, wrapping and elevating it for the past 4 days.
There was so much I wanted to get done before going to see my sister, but I have to be content knowing that my son is slowly recovering, my granddaughter was ready to start school, my sprinters are working for the moment and water won't get into my basement if we have another big rain. I can't even complain about that because we need it so desperately, and it has helped revive all the grass, shrubs and trees that have been turning brown ever since the summer began.
As tired and frustrated as I still feel at times, I am just so grateful for God's tender mercies that help me see life more clearly and have more love and compassion for others. My heart is filled with sorrow for all those lives that have been so horribly disrupted the past weeks and months as the elements and men's lack of understanding and humanity have caused untold suffering for millions. I look around my humble home that is clean and safe and the tears start to fall because I have been so richly blessed. I owe everything to God and my Savior. They are always there to lift and help and bring others into my life when I need them. I want to be an instrument in their hands in loving and serving others in my small circle influence. That's all most of us will ever be able to do anyway.
I mentioned my grandmother's book in my last post. The challenges my ancestors lived through are very different than mine, but I know I carry some of their strength and resolve in my genes. How grateful I am for their example. Her story is one everyone who loves a bit of history should read. It will make you laugh and cry. So Long Bishop is available on Amazon Books. https://amzn.to/2BXNSdv