Sunday, January 11, 2009


I sit tonight in a half empty living room that belongs to my parents until Friday. Howard sits next to me doing homework. Our backs against the wall, there is no furniture. Scattered around us are boxes half full or half empty,depending on how you look at them. The kids are upstairs trying to sleep. But who can these days with all that's happened in a matter of 3 days?

My little corner of the world has felt like the corner of a boxing ring, and I'm not so sure that I am winning, but I'm still fighting.

The home we have been living in belongs to my parents. Their own home just sold and they need to move into the house we are in. And fast. So I began my quick search for a rental house last week. On Thursday I found one, we hit the bank for a large sum of cash to secure the home, and signed papers at 5pm as the doors were closing. We got the keys and headed home to start packing. For the last several days I have been suffering from bloody noses, chest pain and shortness of breath. I presumed all were from the anxiety of trying to find a house in a quick like manner. On Monday I had one bloody nose and on Wednesday I had three. Now the title of my post is "pouring" for a reason. These nose bleeds were doing just that and lasting about 30 -45 min each time. On Thursday I went almost a whole day without one. After signing papers, I had it all planned out..... I would go to the new house, clean the whole thing and then go home and start packing. Friday I would start moving things over. Instead I spent 3 hours Thursday night trying to control 3 more nose bleeds. My mom came over and my sister drove me to the ER. After a pleasant 2 hours in the ER the doctor cauterized my nose and sent me home. $100 co-pay and a new deductible for the year.
On Friday I woke up, crawled in the bathtub and started to wash my face. Apparently the hot water wasn't what I needed. More pouring...and not from the bathtub. This was my ninth nosebleed in 4 days and I was not feeling that my legs would hold me up. I struggled to get out of the tub. Carter got me some napkins and I called my mom at work and she came over. She took Carter to the neighbor and me to ER for 5 hours of torture. The doctor was not so pleasant as the one the night before and he "packed" my nose twice while it continued to bleed without ceasing. "Packing" meant shoving a rigid sponge (similar to a tongue depressor) up my nose and then spraying Afrin into the sponge, only to pinch my nose with the rigid sponge inside in hopes that it would stop bleeding. This is where I should mention that the sponge was about 6-8 inches long when dry and 8-10 inches long when wet. My brain hurt. My eye hurt. My ear hurt. My head hurt. Another $100 copay and more to add to my deductible. When the doctor decided that packing wasn't working he called the ENT office in town and sent me in his direction. I'm not sure why this didn't happen 5 hours earlier? The ENT took out the packing and numbed my whole face. That was the best I had felt all day.He then cauterized my nose which he said would not have stopped with packing as it was "a gusher". The cost: Priceless. He sent me home with these instructions: No lifting, No straining, No bending over, No stress. For 3 days. Got it? Friday I was home around 5pm. I had plans to get all the utilities transferred to the new house and call the insurance company re: new car policies and a renters policy. Didn't happen. I was at the ER all day.
Saturday morning came and I had not packed anything, nor could I pack anything. My nose had more packing in one day than my house did. By 11 am my dad and 3 of his friends and Howard's 20 or so "blessings" showed up. His mother and his entire basketball team of high school boys were in my living room. They packed my whole house, loaded it into cars and one big moving truck and moved our entire house in about 3 hours. It wasn't the way I would have planned for it to go in a perfect world. But it was how it had to be done and they did a great job. I gave orders in my lightheaded state of mind. They lifted and carried like an army of ants. I showed up to my new house and things were EVERYWHERE. In a very loose order...boxes were all over the house. The boys bedrooms each had a bed and a dresser, they didn't match up, but who cares, it's all organizable later. By 3pm all the blessings were out the door for a basketball game and I was left with a house full of chaos. I didn't listen to anyone and I didn't sit down and rest on the couch. I wanted the washer and dryer hooked up. I wanted clean sheets to sleep on before Howard got home. So I called a friends husband and asked him to hook them up for me. He came over, we checked and double checked. Everything was a go.

I threw in a load of sheets.

Loaded up the car with two little boys and the dog.

Headed to the grocery store for milk, trash bags and dishwasher soap.

Went to Mc Donalds. 8:15 pm for Happy Meals.

Got to Albertsons, they were having a sale. Spent about an hour at the store.

Arrived home. 9:15 pm.

Opened the garage door.



Pouring....out...of...the... door...


pouring... out... of... my... face.

The entire house was flooded. 2 inches of standing water in every room.

All the chaos..all the boxes. Soaked.

My shoes, my pants, my face. Soaked.

I called the rental agency 24 hour emergency number that was attached to the rental agreement on the dashboard of the car. I couldn't even speak. I just sobbed. He came over in 10 min and had a carpet cleaner there about 10 minutes after that.

300 gallons of water extracted in 2 hours.

Everything is wet. All the children's books. Some of my pictures. All the furniture. Most of the clothes. Some of the electronics. The carpet, the walls, the baseboards. The garage floor. Almost everything we own and the house we just rented. Guess who didn't have renters insurance effective on Friday? Me.

Guess who couldn't wait until Howard came home to put the sheets in the wash? Me.

Somehow in the moving of the washing machine the drain hose came loose from the bottom. It all appeared to be working when Jim and I checked it out. But it apparently wasn't and I wasn't home to catch it. Instead I was at a great sale at Albertsons trying to pinch a penny and get $15 back for spending $30. Guess who should have been home doing what she was told? Me.

Howard came home immediately after hearing the sobs on the phone. We moved as much as we could out to the garage. My sister came over and got our children and some clothes and took them to my parents house. Howard and I worked until almost midnight getting our precious things into the garage. It's just stuff. I have to remember it's just stuff. We can't take it with us when this life is over.

The repair cost: I have no idea. Lord have Mercy.

So, we can't be in our new house. All our stuff is scattered between three houses and a storage unit and we are in an empty living room at my parents house. At the new house the carpet is wet and the heat is cranked up to 90 degrees. The blowers are running and if things don't dry out soon all the carpet will have to be pulled up. My parents have to be out of their house on Friday and we are helping them pack and move. Today I spent 2 hours at the laundromat washing a car load of wet clothes, dirty clothes and my parents clothes. Oh, and I almost forgot. Sheets.....300 gallons of water wasn't enough of a rinse cycle for them! Monica came to help me at the laundromat. I told her not tell Jim what happened but she didn't listen and told him anyway. Guess who else doesn't listen? Monica. I hope and pray Jim doesn't feel bad. It certainly wasn't his fault. We both checked, it just came loose.

So here I sit. Again wondering why and pouring my thoughts out into a blog. Writing seems to be a stress reliever for me. I emailed a friend earlier who is always so encouraging and affirmed to him what I know to be true. God is still the same. He is the same today as He was on Thursday,and the days my children were born, and the day we got married, and the day I lost my job, and the day we were served lawsuit papers, and the day we bought our first house and the day we were told our baby would die, and the day we brought our baby home, and the day I got a new job, and Howard's first day as a teacher, and the day the new house flooded. He is still the same. No matter where I am or what hurt or chaos occurs.

He is still God.

He knows.

He is in control.

He will provide.

And I? I don't listen well. I don't do what I'm told. I don't like to be still. I want everything to go a certain way. My way.

And I am not in control. I don't know everything. I can't provide it all. I need to learn to let things go.

I'm in a boxing ring and I'm still fighting but I'm not sure I'm winning. Down for the count.....1....2.....not giving up. Stuborn. Strongwilled. Driven. Broken. Call it what you want.


1 comment:

  1. Oh Mandy, I can't believe what I am reading. I am pouring tears right now. I am so sorry that all this is happening to you. When it rains it pours. Why does it have to do that? Do you feel a little like Job right now? All I can gather is that God must think that you my friend can handle this and will continue to praise Him through the storm. Have you heard that song before-I think it is by Casting crowns. If you have not look it up on You tube. I am praying, praying, praying for you. Thanks for sharing in your blog. Your candidness helps all who reads. I love you, Kristin