Sunday, July 29, 2012

Of Chimneys and Tears

This morning brought overcast skies and a case of the "drearies."  Mom's had breakfast, I've had a cuppa, and time to read the posts I've missed over these past few weeks.  One in particular brought me to tears as it illustrated where I am now in my life with all its sadness, tears, and challenges.

Jon Katz over at Bedlam Farm had the courage to put out to the universe what he felt in this post Feeling Blue/.  His thoughts reflect what I've been dealing with lately:  life after Dad's passing, Mom's health, my financial health, life after Mom and Dad, etc., etc.

Last night, we had a storm.  Thunder.  Lightning.  Rain.  Rain.  Rain.  I sensed that someone had opened a dam resulting in a huge force of water upon us.  I had been doing laundry and went to the  basement only to discover we had a mini-flood on our hands.  I checked the water heater.  Good.  I checked the furnace.  Also good.  The water came from the middle of basement.  Nothing leaked around the windows.  Again, good.  Where did this come from?

I called the water heater and furnace insurance folks.  No one home.  (Someone remind me again why I'm paying for service that doesn't happen?)   I called the gas company who casually told me to call a plumber.    I ran back down to the basement for mop-up detail.  It was at that very moment I became angry.  Really angry. 

Mom's answer to this dilemma?  Call a man.  In her generation, the "damsel-in-distress" worked, not so in this era.  Maybe I suffer from pride because my brain usually works for me and I can figure things out on my own.  My feelings overwhelmed me.  I can't take this, all this stuff, everything raining down upon me and I haven't even buried my father.  I'm not a 21st Century Job from the Bible who sits there in quiet strength ignoring everyone who advises him in the name of faith.  (Although, I have to admit the part about the "boils" would have weakened me.)

My fury continued (something I'm not used to feeling).  I returned to the basement for further clean-up.  As I spread the towels, I heard it.  The "ping, ping, ping" coming from the chimney into the furnace, which I had turned off.  Could it be possible?   My next action involved calling my dearest friend's husband to check my hypothesis. Did I just do the damsel-in-distress thing?  He concurred with my theory.  I ran back up the stairs and out into the deluge to look up at our chimney only to discover no chimney cap.  Nadda.  It stood tall against the elements as it has in years past - open and vulnerable.

As of Midnight my tears, anger, and the water in the basement had dried.  The same weather that had channelled the rain through the chimney now carried a drying breeze.  It's as though nothing had happened.

In the past few days, I've made list upon lists of things I need to do before the season turns.  Lists concerning my father's funeral service and lists of ideas to write and share.  Capping a chimney doesn't appear on any of these reminders, but in a strange way, attempting to put a cap on what life presents should have been Job 1.  My situation resembles the chimney.  Open to life and everything that falls into it.  This life needs something to shield Mom and me from these life occurances.  This life cap won't stop that "stuff" completely, but deflect as much as possible.

Next week, after the funeral, the chimney gets a cap.

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