For the times when life is hard, suffering has no explanation, and it’s tough stuff all around….
We stood inches from the window and watched as golf ball-sized chunks of hail pelted at our bonus room window. I had never seen anything like it. Only minutes earlier, it had been sunny and then with no warning, the hailstorm of all hailstorms was threatening to break through our windows and take down everything in it’s path.
Storms are like that— unwelcome and unannounced.
This particular hailstorm was fast and furious. The sun was quickly restored to shining; everything else outdoors was not. The south side of every house in our community looked like a victim of a drive by. Everything and anything that was left outside was ruined— plagued by dents at best, and holes at worst.
Our truck and our van were packed only two feet away from each other. The truck looked like a giant golf ball, ironically with golf ball sized dimples. It was a write off. My van however, came out unscathed. And it was parked only two feet from the same vehicle. If you’re scratching your head wondering how is that possible…
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As we made our way home from school, my littles began noticing the plethora of hockey sticks decorating the front porches of many of the homes in our neighbourhood. I explained that people had put out their hockey sticks for relay a message to Humboldt: "We're with you."
Another why followed and I explained that when you're hurting, the biggest thing is you want to know you aren't alone.
In pain, our first need is presence.
After my dad’s diagnosis in May 2008, our family was blessed with a trip to the Philippines by a very generous friend. It was quite an experience for me, having never left the comforts of first world before. I was excited to see pieces of history from both my dad’s life and Mike’s, as well as spend some concentrated time with the whole family.
Those times were precious given that we suddenly had a heightened awareness that our days together were numbered. I was thrilled to journey outside of North America but I must confess I was a little nervous as both the men in my life warned me of the potential “discomforts” and teased me about not lasting a day.
The summer after we moved into our first home, we built a fence to enclose our yard. The majority of our fence faced west and our windy city was no stranger to 100km/hr winds which often blew furiously from that direction.
To combat this frequent force, we knew we'd have to build something solid. Nine foot steel posts were secured with concrete into three-foot deep holes. The fence boards were screwed onto three beams that ran horizontally across the top, middle and bottom of the posts and were secured by 3 more horizontal beams on top. It was solid. It probably could've withstood my car ramming into it but I didn't test my hypothesis.
Shortly after we had finished most of the fence, we had one of those terribly windy days. It howled so loudly I feared if I stepped outside it might have carried me to Saskatchewan.
It came with little warning. The day before it was like summer and then... BAM. The biting wind made summer seem like a distant memory.
I was thankful that the majority of the fence was done. I tried to imagine how crazy it would have been to be screwing in fence boards on a day like that. I can imagine what our neighbor would have said if (when she approached us about starting our fence in the summer) we had said, "Actually, we're waiting until the wind is blowing 100km/hr. We won't really need the shelter until then." She probably would've put her house up for sale. No one wants to live next door to crazies.
It would be foolish to wait for a storm to start building.
Last week I got an unexpected phone call from my hubby. "So... there are rumors floating around that a whole bunch of people were laid off today. I'm not really sure what's happening. I'll keep you posted." If you're familiar with the economic situation in Alberta right now, you're probably thinking that shouldn't have been a surprise. But it was...
No matter who you are or where you live, I'd be willing to bet that at some point, you have experienced a blindside.
Blindside: to hit someone facing another direction suddenly and very hard; to surprise of shock someone in a very unpleasant way; to attack critically where a person is vulnerable or uninformed;