Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the lightning strike and fire at our house. We ended up being displaced for five months, during which time Jason lost his job. After we moved back in, our cat died the week before Christmas, and a few months later someone ran into the electrical box in our front yard, resulting in a large, still-unpaid-by-her-insurance-company, electrician’s bill.
I used to think, if we can just make it to one year, we’ll be safe. This year of weird, freaky, one-in-a-million events will stop.
Turns out the universe had one final insult to hurl at us before our year in Hell was up.
Friday afternoon we came home from work to find our Boston Terrier, Chi Chi, struggling to breathe. It appeared she ate something disagreeable in the yard (there was grass-laced vomit everywhere), threw up, and aspirated it. We rushed to the car and headed for the emergency vet’s, but she died on the way. There was nothing they could do.
She was the best dog I have ever shared a home with. She was sweet-natured, friendly, and loving. I never once heard her bark.
The children are already lobbying for a replacement, but Jason and I are not ready. I don’t know when, or if, I’ll be ready.
I intended to write Jason a long letter for the anniversary of the fire, to try to tell him how much his love and support and partnership have meant to me – not just over the last year, but over the last almost-five years. How we have been through our own series of unfortunate events, any one of which would test the mettle of a relationship, and we’ve managed not just to stick together, but to continue to grow and nurture and strengthen our marriage.
But I realized that surviving a year doesn’t really count for anything. We’re no safer from harm than we were on June 29, 2012. We may feel like we’ve paid our dues, but tomorrow could bring a basket of fresh, unexpected challenges, and we don’t get credit for time served.
When I worked as a newspaper reporter, one of my editors would remind us, constantly, that all your previous work is just yesterday’s news. It didn’t matter that you’d written five stories and covered a late meeting the night before – each and every day you had to hit the ground running. Don’t dwell on your successes OR your failures. Keep moving.
It’s a lesson I’m still learning.