What could have been a wonderful Sunday simply wasn’t to be. In fact, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
The morning schedule looked all clear, so I rose early to attack a photo project for a relative. Sitting at my desktop computer at 7 am, I started scrolling through photos to make my selections.
And then, I heard a tree fall – this time not on my home — saw a bright flash and watched the computer screen go dark.
It’s not unusual, on this heavily wooded island, for tree branches to fall on power lines. So, three or four times a year, we lose our electricity source – usually for 12 to 18 hours, but sometimes for several days, and once for a full week.
I knew what the day held: no computer power, no internet, no hot water.
I knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I checked the newspaper’s weather report, and noted that the torrential rainfall should continue for several days.
So, the plants I purchased at Home Depot would spend another day in their plastic containers. The weeds would have another week to flourish in the garden. The lawn’s edges would remain ragged.
Walking past the laundry room, I realized that I had forgotten to move the crammed dark load from the washer into the drier. It would remain soaked for another day.
Fortunately, my cell phone was working. So, I texted my oldest son, who is awaiting knee surgery that will derail his college football plans, at least for the near future. I feel terrible for him, as football has served as a wonderful focus for his energy and dreams.
Next, my daughter and I drove to the health club to shower and get ready for our National Charity League chapter’s senior celebration. (While it was a hassle to haul everything to the gym, we do recognize we are fortunate to have somewhere to find warm showers, blow driers and bright lights.)
The luncheon was lovely, I went to a chocolate tasting afterwards, and our family later enjoyed a dinner out together. The day was definitely on an upswing.
Back at home, we settled into the living room, turned on the gas fireplace and read books by candlelight. It actually felt wonderful to unplug for an evening.
And then the call came: news that a young man we know had died suddenly. My heart aches for my son, who was good friends with the guy, as well as for his parents and our community at large.
Images of this young man are vivid in my mind. I can see him at our kitchen table, where he sat for countless meals and discussions about life. Whenever he entered our home, he filled every room with his positive energy, charm and broad smile. He was, as one friend just said, “a big teddy bear.”
Suddenly, the power outage, the rain, the musty clothes and the delayed projects seemed incredibly trivial. This young man will never see another day, and his family will never feel whole again.
My day was just a tough one, and some days are like that. Even in Australia. At least I have the promise of tomorrow.
Linda Williams Rorem, Permission Slips, 5 May 2014
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