A few days ago we had a blizzard here. We had warning of it for about a week. It slowly went from the weather man having his typical 3 minute time slot on the 5 o’clock news to the night before, hours and hours of news anchors talking, the governor coming on the television to talk about a state of emergency, and many “experts” talking about how to keep safe during a blizzard.
In about 14 hours, we received 29 inches of snow. And everyone lived to tell the tale. Yet, for days before the storm, and especially the night before, everywhere you turned everyone was freaking out about the storm. People were posting on facebook about going to the grocery store to stock up on food, the news was interviewing people about how to stay safe, warning residents to stay off the roads, and to be prepared to lose electricity. Everyone was bracing for this storm, and seemed afraid that they may not be okay. Like somehow, they would run out of food, or would be trapped in their houses forever.
As I heard and saw everyone whooshing around me in a panic, I couldn’t help but think- seriously?!?!
It’s funny, I really do not consider myself to be a calm person, as I do not ever hesitate to admit. As much as after some time I see the bright side of a situation, think positive, and hope for the best, usually I will think of the worst case scenario first. Find me a situation, and I can tell you what can go wrong. But, I was calm. I was pretty sure there was enough food in the house to last me a few days, and in the end, I knew I’d eventually get out. Worst case scenario? Well, eventually, snow melts, so there is no way I will be stuck in here forever.
And that’s when I realized: I’m making it through my storm. Yep. This storm that was coming, everyone had warning of it. But, when the blizzard of chronic illness came into our lives, did we have warning? Did we have the news telling us how to prepare?
Had I known this was coming, had I had the internet, the television, and any person I had come in contact with the day before tell me that my world was about the end the next day- I would have gone to the grocery store to get the soft food, the only food I’d be able to eat for three months. I would have had something really tasty for dinner that night too, let me tell ya. I would have made sure someone would be there in the morning to help pick me up off the floor. I’d make sure someone would be there for the next 3 months to help me shower. I’d let them know what I can eat. I’d have my medications ready. There wouldn’t be trial and error. There wouldn’t be allergic reactions. Had I known the day before, heck, the week before, I would have gone to every doctor in the state and banged down there door. I would find answers to cut through the months (heck, years) of confusion and fright. I would let me friends know that things are going to change, and I’d ask them not to leave me. I’d tell everyone that I love them, and apologize for having to leave their life for a little while. I would have packed up my dorm room, said goodbye to my roomates, thank my professors for their inspiration. I’d tell them I’d be back one day. I’d close chapters on places and relationships. I’d RUN for the last time. I’d visit the places and people I love. I’d cash that paycheck and go shopping. I’d put a pillow on the bathroom floor, ready for that morning. I’d say my prayers that night..just like I did so long ago, but this time, I’d tell God I’m ready, ready as I’ll ever be, and I’d ask him to help me through. I would PREPARE.
But, we didn’t get to prepare. We were thrown into this blind and had to feel our way through. There was much trial and error. A lot of fear and confusion. Too much heartbreak to speak of, too much loss to have ever imagined.
But here’s the thing-we’re still here. We made it. And yes, maybe we’re still in the storm, but we’re more prepared now. Even if we still don’t have all the answers, we’ve found our own answers, and we’re still searching for them. And even better, we still have the chance to. It’s not too late! It’s still snowing, but we’re not buried yet. There is still a way out. There will always be something new to try. And even if it continues to snow, sometimes heavier than others, we know how to make it through. Even if making it through is laying in bed, at our worst, crying and wondering why, we get through it. There is an amount of time that goes by, and we wake up, and we are a little stronger. We look outside and the day is a little brighter. We are reminded that the sun rises, the seasons change. Snow turns to water, the water feeds the grass, and the flowers bloom. It’s still snowing there, but I feel the suns power. The suns power being, our will to go on. Our shared hope. It powers the sun, gives it light and heat, and melts the snow. I know there’s still snow on the ground, but I also know that there is grass under there, and flowers that are waiting to bloom.
Each of you are a flower in the garden that is waiting to bloom. I’ve heard that the darkest winters bring the brightest Springs.
I’ve also heard that April showers bring May flowers.
Well, I say- years of sorrow plant the seeds that grow gardens of peace.
May you find yours.