You should write a book
So many people have said after hearing our nightmare story, “Someday you should write a book.” But to be honest I’ve sat down a million times to just write this post and my heart shatters into a million pieces and I can’t find the words to explain in any sort of meaningful way what the last few months have looked like for us.
I’ve always been afraid of Oklahoma storms. Hearing stories of children ripped from their mother’s arms, entire neighborhoods leveled, and schools hit and children killed inevitably makes me beg my husband to move us to a safer state every year. Living through extreme storm damage has always been one of my nightmares. But season after season passed, and slowly a callous began to form. Every year I would hear of families hit and homes destroyed and each year it got easier to think “it will never be us.” This year it was us.
I already posted on exactly what happened the night of the storm here
Living through My Nightmare
The panic that comes into your heart when the power goes out, you’re naked and trying to scramble for clothes won’t ever be something I can put into words. Rushing to the babies room, huddling in a corner hoping it is safe enough. Hearing what sounds like a water fall pouring into my dining room. Driving through the flash floods to try to take little ones to safety. Navigating around trees that have fallen into the road, and hoping the water isn’t too deep.
The days after the tree hit, it really felt like I was walking through a nightmare. It felt like I had lost everything. We were living with my in-laws. I was spending hours on the phone looking for contractors, and with the insurance company. Even late into the night while Joseph and I were trying to process the phone wouldn’t stop ringing. I lost the ability to sleep naturally, because upon laying down I would uncover additional layers of grief, loss, and technical problems to solve. Ticking off things I had to do, and plodding forward kept me sane during those first few days.
Nightmare Housing Challenge
At that time there were 60% more people looking for homes in Oklahoma than there were homes available. So we ended up realizing that the most realistic move for us would be to an apartment. If you’ve followed us for any amount of time you know we are an outdoor family that practically lives in our back yard, so this was a huge shift. To make that as easy as possible we picked a downtown apartment. So we could have a walk-able lifestyle.
As practically my mantra I clung to the words of the insurance company when they said it would be a three or four month project repeating to myself “You can do anything for 3 or 4 months.”
And really that is true… I can do anything for 3 or 4 months. What I’m so glad I didn’t know is that it would be much closer to 7 month. I’m also so glad I didn’t know we would lose our baby in that time, our car would die, and our home would be broken into.
I think my biggest take away from this journey is “Don’t borrow trouble that hasn’t happened yet.” You can handle the next thing in front of you, but will crack and break if you try to get too many steps ahead. I found that when I tried to plan in advance by the time I got to that step everything had changed and I wasted energy.
Maybe you have crisis in front of you JUST TAKE THE NEXT STEP, then the next, and the next…