By Amy McCollom
Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways…whether it’s a person or a possession, seldom do we consider the depth of our devotion until the object of our love is at jeopardy or all together gone. Sad but true, we all learn the hard way how precious people and things are to us when tragedy strikes.
I have been emotional this week, and usually my medication takes care of that, but before my own personal tragedy struck, I felt the welling up of the pressure, the sadness, the tears building like a storm on the horizon. A storm was coming, a dark cloud was moving in. Perhaps it’s a foreboding that us Empaths just connect with; maybe this uneasiness was a warning from God in some way to draw nearer to Him for His help in riding out a rough patch. Perhaps I missed a couple lunchtime Buspirone in the hustle and bustle of my busy life.
A week ago, I was feeling the early signs of the stress building, and at church, as I sat behind the drums and prayed, then raised my eyes to see the congregation with heads bowed, God whispered to my heart that each one of those people also had stress just as bad if not worse than mine, and prayers were going up to Him like fiery arrows with messages attached, and He was big enough to take care of every one of them. I took a deep breath and felt a release for a moment knowing I wasn’t the only one, and that my stress was like everyone else’s. God loved me and He also loved all of the congregation the same, and it made me feel like I belonged to a big family.
A week later, storms hit, literally. Rains came, and thunder clapped, and lightning cracked and sent the dog running under the bed. Restless night, but busy morning, and off to church we went. We didn’t realize what was waiting for us until we got home. Our basement had flooded, and we had over 15 inches of water down there.
A couple of weeks before we had gotten six inches of water, which John acted quickly to pump out. Apparently the shower in the basement has a drain, and water was shooting up from the drain like a water hose. John worked for two days getting that cleaned out and things taken care of from that mishap. We even called out plumbing experts to re-route our sump-pump for better outflow of water.
This time, though, it happened in the night and we were unaware that sewer water was pouring into our basement until after it had gone over the six inch raised floor into the utility room, and ruined our new washer and dryer, took out our water heater, and possibly destroyed our furnace. Not only that, I have a little room off of the utility room that I keep my own things in, and I had just moved a plastic tote of some things down there since there is not much storage in our bedroom.
You don’t know how much you loved and treasured something until you see it ruined. The plastic totes, although sealed, had floated and toppled over, spilling their contents and soaking everything in sewer water. Pictures that I can never replace, letters I can never get back, a small stuffed animal that my son bought for me with his own money that meant everything to me. I literally got sick to my stomach when I saw what I had lost.
There were things in that tote that I was going to pass on to other family members; things that would have meant a lot to them, now ruined by flood water. I felt terrible. I have cheated them out of a memory, an heirloom, a treasure.
As I took each water-soaked piece out of the tote, and laid it on a table outside to air dry, I kept thinking of value, attachment, and love. The things and people we love and value, we need to treasure and treat them as such. It made me take a whole new look at how I assess the people and things in my life.
Storing things away is a useless thing to do. Enjoy and treasure them now, for tomorrow is not promised. Don’t be the keeper of things you can’t or shouldn’t keep. It is a big responsibility and unless you own a museum, you are not qualified to be a curator of history, so pass it down.
If something brings joy or a good memory, keep it out where it is alive in your life. Things tucked away have no use and will only cause you sorrow if you find them deteriorated later.
Surround yourself with people and things you love. That is what will make you happy. And do not buy a house with a basement. They are nothing but trouble. Oh how I would love a house without a basement, (or stairs) let me count the ways.