About a week ago I read a post that was very moving. Thank you Olive These Words for sharing that amazing post. I recommend everyone read it. I could tell you how it made me feel but it is something you should experience yourself.
The premise of the post got me thinking about a project that I’ve wanted to do and ‘just haven’t gotten around to’. I want to write a book about the things I would have, should have, could have done differently in different situations. I think the reason I haven’t done it yet is because the list is extensive!
The one thing that made me want to take this project on is that at the prayer service at the end of the evening wake for my father 11 years ago, when asked if I wanted to say anything, I said no. I am the oldest of 4 children so I knew my father the longest. I am the only girl, ‘daddy’s little girl’. But I chose not to say anything. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure what I would have said. This incident is what makes me want to write this “What If I Did…” book. (Don’t worry, that’s not my real title. I wouldn’t want to put that out there for someone to steal. 🙂 )
So I often think “what if I did the other thing?”
I like to think that there are alternate universes that are created whenever we make choices. We go left and our life unfolds as we know it. BUT a piece of us splits off and creates a whole other universe because that piece went right. I like this, most of the time, because it means that all of the other options are getting played out by ‘me’.
There is one decision that I feel haunts me… But last week something happened to make me never question the decision again.
Nearly 10 years ago, we bought a property 450 miles away from our home. Our intention was to buy it, renovate it, and flip it. Just when we were getting to the reno part the housing market in the US crashed. Hard. We ran out of money so the work hasn’t really moved forward. We’ve had the property on the market for years but everyone wants a ‘move-in ready’ house.
The house is in a very small town in Virginia. It is an adorable community with a general store that is also a little deli and post office. There are quite a few houses, 3 churches and a lot of gorgeous open land. The night sky in that place is beyond compare. It feels like you can see every single star in the universe. Simply breath taking.
Last week a series of tornadoes tore through this little town. No, tornadoes are not common to the area. Not at all! There were a few casualties and some injuries. There are a lot of displaced people because their homes were demolished.
Dear Husband is currently in the town surveying our property. The house has severe damage. I guess you could call them new features like some new sky lights. And some rustic touches like tree branch benches that come right through the wall. It’s a mess! Big, old pine trees are missing the top 20 feet. It took him a day to cut enough trees to make a path just to drive up the driveway to the house.
No one was living in the house. We hadn’t rented it. We hadn’t sold it. No one was hurt because they were in our house or on our property. No one has lost their home or belongings because that particular house was damaged.
My husband is seeing first hand how wonderful people are in the face of disaster. And I am reminded of how wonderful he is. He has turned down food and shelter because there are people who need it much more than he does. He has a truck he can sleep in and he can get food. He is not playing the martyr. Others need the offerings much more than he does.
He has been telling me about the groups of people who show up to help but are turned away because there isn’t enough work for them to do. That is how many people are willing to help! So many that they have to be turned away!
It is inspiring to hear the stories he is sharing with me. Some funny. Some touching. All inspirational.
For the past too many years I’ve thought of this house as a money pit and wished that we had never bought it. But today I am glad that we did. I am glad to be able to witness, albeit second hand, the kindness and goodness that exists in people. I wouldn’t choose differently because the challenge that we are facing now is turning out to be a blessing.
(Besides, another me never bought the house and is sitting on her couch wondering how she can feel inspiration and humility.)
For all of those who have lost your homes or loved ones in the terrible storms that shredded the east coast last week, my prayers are offered for you. May you find peace and comfort knowing that so many people are reaching out to help you up.
All pictures were taken by Dear Husband and are of our property only.