Wow... that was fast. The last time I blogged was in February. So much has happened since then, so I'll do my best to fill you in. I know so many people have probably all but given up on this blog, so I may be the only person reading any of this. But that's okay, it will be therapeutic for me to get it out. Where shall I begin?
The day of the Chinese Festival (my last post) my grandmother was taken to the hospital with chest pains. She ended up being there for over two months. She had to have triple bypass heart surgery and aortic valve replacement. She really struggled for weeks and I honestly didn't know if she would ever leave that hospital alive. But she did. She was blessed with great doctors, wonderful nurses, a devoted family, and most of all the hand of the GREAT PHYSICIAN, which is our Lord. Our family is very close and this alone was a huge stress on everyone. We are just so thankful that she has recovered and I now see that she's getting back to herself again. Praise, praise, praise.
By March, my job was beginning to take a toll on me physically. I was recently diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. The long commutes to work every day and the stress of a demanding job and raising a large family started catching up with me. I was slipping a little every day. Medicines weren't helping and I didn't know what to do.
April began like every other April. Baseball season was in full swing, with Nolan playing T-Ball and Garrett playing Minor League with Griff coaching both teams. Cole was on the golf team again, so many days were an interesting endeavor trying to get everybody where they needed to be. The baseball park is one of my favorite places, though, so I can't complain too much. I've always loved a good baseball game, especially when my kids are playing. Then... April 27th came. What a day.
The tornadoes that swept through Alabama left it's mark on my neighborhood. Our street looked very much like a war-zone. Luckily, we weren't at home when the tornado hit our neighborhood. After the storm passed, I drove home and couldn't get through to my house for all of the large trees laying in the street. I got out and ran all the way home... screaming and it felt like a slow-motion dream. It's like I could hear myself screaming, but I didn't feel it. I went to the back of the house to discover that the large windows in our family room were blown out. I walked into my house through the window opening and found my little Westie, Gus, running around barking. I know he must have been terrified. There was glass, water, and debris everywhere. I just couldn't take it in. All my things... my picture of my babies lying in the floor shattered and wet. My furniture blown everywhere. But the candlesticks were still in place on the mantle. Weird. The front rooms of the house seemed to almost be untouched with the exception of debris here and there. Upstairs was also pretty in tact. The next few days that followed the storm were dreamlike. People called or came by and I don't remember. Strangers were cutting trees down and dragging off debris. My neighbors were sifting through rubble looking for anything recognizable. The movers came in and moved everything to storage. We moved into a rental house my granddad owned that had belonged to my Aunt Ruby. (I blogged about her last January when she passed away.) Luckily, the house was clean and vacant, so our sweet friends showed up and moved bare minimum stuff for us.
As I said, my lupus was flaring and I was exhausted, before the storm hit. Afterwards, I didn't know if I could keep it up. My doctor and I talked and I made the decision to take some medical leave from work to try to get some rest and regain my health. So far, I haven't had a great deal of improvement, but I am about to try a new medicine which I am so hoping will allow me to feel like me again. I want to go back to work. I never realized how much it helped me.
Now it's June and we are still living at Aunt Ruby's. We are crammed into this house like a big foot in a little shoe. We have one bathroom and two bedrooms. Remember, there are six of us Fairleys now. My bedroom contains a double-bed, Mia's crib, and a cot for Nolan. Cole and Garrett are sleeping in the other room. Sometimes when I lay down at night, I think that it is so wonderful to have all my babies near me. Other times, I think I may very well lose my mind due to the lack of space and no privacy. The only repairs done so far to our house is a new roof. We finally got a settlement from the insurance company and now we wait for our mortgage company to release funds so that repairs can begin. This has been VERY SLOW and I'm reaching the threshold of patience. I find myself wanting to shout at everyone... JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN. I want our home back. Yesterday. Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth???
The damage to our beautiful neighborhood and the damages to our home have really been depressing for me. My eyes still cannot believe what I see when I drive down our street and see the landscape stripped clear, with a few exceptional trees that weren't blown down. My neighbors next door and across the street are having to demolish their homes and rebuild. I know that there will be better days ahead and that God's promises are true. God has held us in His hands throughout this situation and sometimes when I am so low, He speaks some word into my sad soul to encourage me. He has used my friends to lift my spirits and keep me hopeful.
The bright side of all of this is that I'm basically getting a new house. If I can just settle down and be patient, it will be beautiful again. One of my favorite songs right now is "Blessings" by Laura Storey. It is so fitting for what is happening to us right now. I am beginning to see the light, the good aspect of such a bad event. Another praise is that my kids are enjoying living in this little house and playing outside, helping my dad with his enormous garden, and just little things kids do that live in the country. My aunt Ruby had a green thumb and she has flowers planted all around this house. My favorite flower is the gardenia. Right outside the house is a huge gardenia bush in full bloom. How could she have known that all of her flowers would bring me such simple pleasure? Here again, sweet blessings from an AWESOME GOD. He is so into the intricate details, isn't He?
So, unfortunately this has not been a very upbeat post. Honest, but not the usual stuff I talk about. Maybe I can get back to doing that again. (That is if anyone is still interesting in reading... LOL)
By the way... guess what I was doing one year ago this week????? Yep, packing for China. Can you believe it's already been a year. She is doing well. I will tell you all about her later.
Much love to all of you.