May 20, 2012: One Year

“It was too long ago…but it was just a moment ago” (The Legend of Bagger Vance)

When I think about the past year and all we’ve been through, that is exactly how it feels.

We were living the dream: a beautiful house we could afford, 2.3 kids, literally. I was able to stay home with the kids for now, an annual family vacation, good friends and great neighbors…

Then it all went up in flames.

The events of May 20, 2011 replay in my head constantly. It was horrifying. And the way we were treated subsequently by authorities and then by our insurance company have made the past year even more horrific. It’s a constant nightmare while I’m both asleep and awake…

However, as trying as this year has been, I not only have a life to get back, but also a life to live.

I have 3 fantastic kids to take care of, though I often think they are taking care of me. I have a wonderful husband, whom I unfortunately only see on weekends now due to living arrangements. But now our weekends are truly quality family time.

We have found this year, that we know what true friends are and the importance of family. Thank goodness we have such a fabulous support network.

We’ve certainly learned what materials are true necessities and what we can live without. Due to a complete lack of storage, clutter isn’t an issue. In fact, it’s been a great lesson on giving for the kids: with each new toy they receive, they choose one to donate to those less fortunate. I also only buy them a few outfits. We wash and rewear everything until its worn out and must be replaced.

This year has taught me to not judge, because what works for you may not work for another, and honestly, you have no idea what the back story is, so back off.

This year has taught me that it’s ok to be picky. I have limited space so I only take what I need and love. (And please don’t ever offer items to those in need that aren’t in tip top shape: I cannot tell you how many broken toys and stained clothes we were given to us in the beginning, though most donations were in great shape.)

This year has taught me that true friends are few and far between so hold on tight and check in on them more often than you do.

This year has taught me that no matter how small you think someone else’s problems are compared to yours, to that person those problems are HUGE so be there for them the same way you want them there for you.

This year has taught me that when catastrophe strikes most support is needed well after the flames have been put out, and although the immediate support was appreciated too, most people shy away now, unsure of what to say or do. (Just checking in from time to time would be lovely.)

This year I’ve leaned to complain less and appreciate more.

This year, although the tears have been plentiful, the laughter keeps me going so I try to find the funny… sometimes it’s harder than others.

This year I yell more and take more deep breaths. This year my kids are allowed to put me in time out for raising my voice…it’s only happened twice since initiating the rule…

This year I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and, although I rarely have actual dessert, Moscato is my favorite wine.

This year I say thank you and mean it to those who give me gifts that are completely useless in my current situation bc it really is the thought that counts.

This year I ask people for what I want and tell them what I need because let’s face it, there aren’t too many mind readers…

This year I’m a constant guest in other peoples homes and I’ve learned that as welcoming as others are, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to cook in my own kitchen with my own stuff again.

This year, we are in temporary housing situations and planning for the future is really hard, but we do our best.

This year, we could care less about the news, election and world at large…especially gossip about celebrities, reality stars and local idiots…we have our family to take care of.

This year we put our family’s needs first, no matter who it may offend.

This year I don’t have time for those who don’t have time for me, but say the word and I’ll make it.

This year I’m not interested in making new friends but will gladly reconnect with old ones.

This year I am grateful that I have 3 healthy and happy kids and although they have their moments, they truly are phenomenal and I know I must be doing something right.

This year I do not take for granted that my family is all here and healthy. It could have been very different.

This year may last another 3 until its all sorted out with insurance and another 3 beyond that to rebuild because of construction permits, codes, and red tape…

This year will hopefully become a blip on my radar screen of life, but for now it’s a big effin blip!

This year, I just want to go home.

This year happened just a moment ago…

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