Saturday, June 9, 2012

Putting a Chipped Tooth into Perspective. Or Sermon Material About Laying Up Treasures on Earth.

Random Thoughts From the Past Twenty Four Hours:
Thursday June 7 afternoon:

  • "I'll make a big batch of beef stew. And a pot of ham and cauliflower soup. They'll like that. And they can take home the leftovers." And then I spent a couple hours slicing and dicing and simmering and saute-ing so that there would be a kitchen full of good food when the boys came over to help me pack up the pod. 
  • While standing in the rain watching a 8'x8'x16' storage pod be delivered to my driveway... "GULP. Am I really moving? I don't want to. I love it here. God? I'm assuming this is what You want. I can't figure out a way to stay here, financially. If this is your plan, I need some peace about this. I'm letting go of what I hold dear and raising up empty housing plans. Show me where you would have me go next."
  • I continue packing boxes by emptying closets, drawers and cupboards - leaving a mess in my wake. When I remove the wicker shelves from closet, after dumping all the accumulated clothes onto the floor I see something: "Hey! That's where my jewelry box was hiding. Ha. Good spot. No one would ever find it there." With no other surface available to place it on, I put it into the top drawer of my dresser and cover it with plus-size one-piece bathing suits. I take shelves downstairs to be photographed.
  • I empty out the pantry and find a box of accumulated papers and unopened mail. I dump 4 months (is that how long dad's been in the hospital/care home) worth of paper onto my dining room table. "WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? Why can't I stay on top of these things. My mom would never be faced with this mess. Why didn't I inherit her bookkeeping gene? Everything is filed and accessible in her house."
  • I empty 3 bookshelves, then box up the books. And empty the oak bedside table (ice box) and find containers (decorative tins and plastic cups) filled with nickels, dimes and quarters. "WHOA! Jackpot! I'm going to give this to the Last Door too." Maxine had given me an ice cream bucket the day before filled with all types of coin, and her generosity was pushing me to think bigger than pennies. I take the coins downstairs and add them to another bucket I've got on the go. "Thank you, God, for friends. I am looking forward to dropping all this off next week. Thank you for the generous people you've brought into my life.
  • Clint arrives at 5, and Max at 7. There is food on the table and I give them a long list of things to be done and then I leave to go out for dessert with friends who are celebrating birthdays. 
  • Conversation is good. Cheesecake is awesome. And I feel blessed. I get home after 11 and it looks like my house vomited all over itself. Max and Clint, uh, did something. Contents of rooms are in hallways, contents of the greenhouse are all over the lawn, and the kitchen looked like I'd fed an army and no one stuck around to clean up before they went to war. "This reminds me of that other night, a few years ago..." (when I came home at midnight and freaked out because someone had been in the house - leaving every cupboard door open, every drawer open, every chair over-turned, everything 'moved' just a little bit, with an ominous message left on my computer's desk top) ..."I wonder if I'll ever get used to coming home and finding it not looking like it did when I left?"

Friday June 8 Morning/Afternoon:
  •  JESSICA is being discharged. She's heading home! "Thank you God. Thankyouthankyouthankyou."
  • At 10:30 I leave the house... Maureen is taking me out for lunch - tea and scones at the Clayburn Village Store. SO YUM. 
  • On our way back, we stop at Tanglebank Gardens and walk through the gardens and gift shop. "God? I LOVE this place. I LOVE discovering new places. Next photo shoot? I AM DEFINITELY going to use these gardens. SO pretty. I have the best friends. Seriously. God. This has been a perfect day. Thank you for my camera. And my friends. And places like this and days like these."
  • Just as we leave the parking lot, I feel something weird with my tongue and MY FRONT MIDDLE TOOTH CHIPPED, leaving a big gaping hole in my mouth. I am devastated. I don't have dental coverage, it's Drew's grad, and I have a broken front tooth. "GOD? WHAT? You know this is my recurring nightmare. My teeth. It's always about my teeth. Oy. Not only am I going to be the fattest mom at the grad tonight, I'm also going to be the one with a broken front tooth. I am so insecure about my looks already, and now this? How can it be? And God? I have no money to get this fixed."
  • I phone the dentist and the earliest he can see me is near the end of next week. I'm not a smiley person anyways, but for sure tonight, and for the next 4 days, I WILL NOT BE SMILING so as to keep my teeth hidden. 
Friday June 8 Evening:
  • I recharge my camera battery, delete all the grad photos (878 of them) from my memory card, reload it into my camera, grab gifts for the grads, and head down to CLA for the Langley Fundamental Grad Ceremony. My mom and I sit together. Clint and Max are going to be late, so I call them and tell them to sit in the balcony when they arrive. I sit on the aisle and am determined not to smile (re: broken tooth) even though I am thrilled THRILLED that this is done. He is graduating. Yay. Yay. Yay. I am strangely at peace and not emotional at all as I prepare for my final son's graduation experience.
  • And then we sing Oh Canada, and my eyes start to dribble.
  • Then it's mentioned that Jessica is watching this grad ceremony streaming live at home. And then my eyes gush. 
  • And then nice words are said, and more nice words are said, and "WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME, I CAN'T STOP THE TEARS. God? Please make them stop." I can't dam the steady flow of hot tears running down my cheeks. I haven't a clue what's going on with my emotions, but boy, am I a wreck.
  • Drew had warned me that he was probably going to back flip off the stage after he got his diploma, so I sit and pray through all the grads A - N before it is his turn. I went down the aisle to take his photo (of being congratulated by the principal) and just after I take the first one, he turns his back to me, bends his knees, and WITH HIS CAP AND GOWN ON, HOLDING HIS DIPLOMA AND A ROSE, HE BACKFLIPPED OFF THE STAGE IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS OF STUNNED PARENTS AND GUESTS. 

  • There is applause.
  • "God? Why can't my kids be normal?"
  • A few minutes later it is Danica's turn to get her diploma. I walk down the aisle to take her picture. After she has shaken everyone's hands, and her tassle is moved from one side of her cap to the other, is congratulated by the principal, she walks to the edge of the stage, turns her back to the audience bends her knees and smiles over her shoulder. 
  • I DIE. "Please God, no. She broke her face a few months ago playing soccer. She is a volleyball player, not a gymnast. No. No. No. Please, no."
  • She shakes her head, and walks off stage into the arms of her dad who is waiting for her, amidst the laughter of those who know she is Drew's girl. 

  • More speeches. More good words. More tears. Seriously. I am a hot mess. "God? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Please make the flow stop. I have to get through the meet and greet in a few minutes and I MUST STOP LEAKING."

  • And then it's over. We meet up with everyone outside. I take more pics. Hugs were given all round. Drew and Danica leave to party with her family. Clint and Max leave to have dinner with Mark and Sherry. And mom and I go out for dinner.

Friday June 8 Later
  • I get home at 10 pm, excited to download my latest pics onto my laptop.
  • I walk into my dining room, put my camera on the table and notice my laptop is gone. The power cord is still there, but the laptop is not on the table. My battery is fried, so the laptop goes dead in 10 seconds if it's not plugged in, so why would one of my kids move it with out the cord? It's useless. I walk around the house, looking at various couches, wondering where they moved it to...
  • I call Clint and ask him if he stopped by, and where did he put my laptop. 
  • I call Max and ask him if he stopped by, and where was my laptop.
  • I call Drew and ask him if he stopped in before his party, and where was my laptop. 
  • I notice a bottle of olive oil on the kitchen table that wasn't there when I left for the ceremony, so I put it back on the counter. 
  • I notice the sliding door is open a few inches and I knew I had closed and locked it before I left.
  • I walk back into the dining room and see polka-dotted fabric and polka-dotted ribbon on my craft cart and KNOW that those items were supposed to be in my polka-dotted purse (from my dot cruise last year) hanging on the coat rack by the front door. 
  • I walk over to the fabric and notice my bottle of prescription sleeping pills (that were in that dot purse, from the cruise) is empty and on the floor next to the fabric. 
  • And I then I knew that someone had been in my house and had stolen my laptop.
  • "Oh. God. Someone stole my laptop. God? YOU KNOW THAT NOTHING WAS BACKED UP. MY LIFE and ALL MY PICTURES from these past two years are on that laptop. God. I am sick. Oh. Oh. Oh." 
  • I run out to my truck and sit in the front seat shaking. Who should I call? Someone stole my laptop. I doubt the police will be interested. My go-to-guy is in a care home, learning to feed himself again. It is after 10, and my neighbourhood is dark. My closest neighbours don't have any lights on. Clint is at a birthday party in Vancouver. Max is at a movie with friends in New West. Drew is at a graduation party. I call my sister, maybe Daryl would come walk through the house with me. No one answers. I just sit and pray. 
  • I call Drew. "We've been robbed. Someone was in the house, and I think they went through our things. For sure they took my laptop." He told me he was coming right home. Together, he, Danica and I walk through the house. 

  • All the silver coin (set aside for the Last Door) has been stolen. 
  • We check out each room and it doesn't look like anything else was taken. 
  • I walk into my bedroom and nothing is disturbed. I check out my closet and all the crap I threw on the floor yesterday is still there. And then I remember my jewelry box. I open the top drawer, move aside my bathing suits and it's gone. Just the lid is there. I check again. And again. And then I start to cry. 
  • It's all the jewelry that Mark gave me. Wedding rings, diamond anniversary rings, promise ring. Rings that my mom and dad gave me... pearls and more pearls. The pearl and diamond pinkie ring my mom got for my wedding. The gold bracelet my mom got for me the day I had Clint.  I am sick. That jewelry? I haven't worn or looked at in years. It was from my past life. But it was extremely valuable. I was saving it for my kids. AND UNTIL LAST NIGHT, IT WAS UNDER A PILE OF DIRTY CLOTHES ON A WICKER SHELF IN MY CLOSET. I've never kept valuables in my dresser drawers. EVER. "Fuck."
  •  "God? This is not a surprise to you. You knew that if I moved my jewelry box yesterday, it would be exactly where someone would look for it today. You knew that those coins were for the Last Door. That if I had left them in the oak side table, they wouldn't have been found. What? Why? How can you use these circumstances for Your purposes? Was I holding on to these things too tightly? I don't know. I am sick. I am going to trust that You will redeem this situation and Your will be done."
  • Danica is right at my side, hugging me while I cry. Then Drew holds me while I pull myself together. 
  • I grab my backpack, throw in some makeup and pajamas, and tell Drew I'm heading to my mom's for night. On my way, I'll stop at the police station and file a report. 
  • As we lock up the front door, I say to him, "I'm ready to move now. This has ruined it for me. Time to say goodbye." He agreed. He was ready too.
  • Just then a suspicious looking car, s-l-o-w-l-y drives by the front of our house. Both occupants are watching us lock up the house. Then they go from house to house, appearing to be staking out the area. Maybe we've seen too many movies, but I have a bad feeling about them. We walk to the end of the driveway, knowing they'll have to come past us again. "Get the licence plate number," I suggest. (If we all were looking, there's a chance, one of us would get it.) "I'll take a picture with my phone..." Danica says. Drew freaks. ":"Get down, Danica. Stay back!" We watch as the car approaches and I turn to Drew. "Do you see that? They've whitened out the license plate!" I step onto the road to see if the back license plate is visible and call out the numbers as I read them. Drew's eyes are better, so he yells them to Danica who is recording them into her phone. They hop into Sherry's car to chase them, and I head over to the Police station.
  • "God? This is a movie. A bad one, but it feels like I'm a character in a low budget flick. How does this story end? Please protect Drew and Danica from any harm. Please keep me sane."
Saturday June 9 WEE HOURS of the morning...
  • The Police Station is closed so I call 911, who patch me through to the Langley Police. They send an officer who takes my statement and lectures me on walking through a house that has been robbed. I explain to him that I didn't know I had been robbed until I had checked with all my kids. "It's not uncommon for me to come home and find my home turned upside down with things missing. My oldest has been known to borrow my camera equipment and lend it to friends. My middle son has friends who have dropped by to borrow videos or video games and leave the house very different than how they found it. I'm a single mom, and I've raised three sons in that house. It's had an "open door" policy for years."
  • We both go back to the house and he asks me to remain in my truck while he secures the location. "Please don't judge me, it's a mess in there. We are in the midst of getting ready to move, and those sons of mine, uh, pulled alot of stuff out yesterday and it's just embarrassing. Really embarrassing."
  • He comes back out after he's cleared it and we walk through together. When we get to my bedroom, he opens my drawers. Including the underwear one. He asks me if any are missing. I so don't want to have this discussion with him. "Uh, I wear bloomers. Pretty sure no one's interested in those." "Please check anyways." I sift through my drawer while he shines his flashlight into it, and I am burning up with embarrassment. He thinks I have a mental inventory of what should and shouldn't be in there, so I assure him all my granny panties are accounted for.
  • Eventually he is done. He's going to try and catch the bad guy(s). I'm going to stay at my mom's. 

In just 24 hours, my life got turned sideways. 

Three FIVE things I'm thankful for:
1. I'm mentally ready to move now. I'm not sad that we have to leave.
2. Drew did not break his neck when he left the stage.
3. My mom has room for me.
4. I do not have a boring life.
5. God is somehow going to use this all for His purposes and His glory. 

Please pray ...
1. That Jessica continues to heal from home. Praise God she is alive. She is a miracle.
2. Pray for all the grads. Sadly, accidents happen during grad weekends, pray that this year, everyone will remain safe. 
3. I really want my laptop back. EVERYTHING is on there. I have spent the last few hours changing all my account passwords and I am grieving my loss. So many memories, gone. So many files - gone. All my writing (I'd been writing my thoughts and experience through Max's recovery year plus so much more) gone. ALL MY FAVORITE LINKS - gone. My stomach clenches just thinking about it. 
4. I feel violated. He was in my room. Going through my drawers. 
5. He (they) stole all the coins I was collecting for The Last Door. THIS MAKES ME SOOOO ANGRY.  I know that whoever broke in is a junky, looking for something to sell in order to get another hit. If they catch him (them) I am going to ask that as part of his sentence he be sent to a recovery house to get help. 
6. Pleassssse pray that I have the type of home insurance that covers this situation. I have a feeling it won't. 
7. Oy. I really want my laptop back. 
8. Please pray for my dad. His speech seems to be slurring more and more. It's so hard when he tries to communicate with us and we can't understand him.
9. Please pray that tonight's events won't cause me live to in fear.
10. Please pray that I can get a good deal on getting my tooth repaired. Crap. I need a job. 
10. Please pray that God will use these events for His good. 


1 comment:

Kim N. said...

I just want to punch somebody! I hope you don't lose the joy of your boy's grad in all of this - it sounds like it was very memorable. God will work it out. Please let me know if there is any way I can help.