Home Destruction

4_19_11.jpgOn my way to my morning breakfast taco place, I had to dodge a large truck in the road carrying a huge backhoe. Oh brother, I thought. They are going to tear something up. That’s going to be an inconvenience for someone. And I didn’t pay another thought to it, at least until I drove by on my way back home just thirty minutes later.

The beast that was once on the back of a flatbed truck was now dancing on top of wreckage that just moments ago was someone’s home. What just a few minutes ago was a place of family, birthdays, and rocking chairs had been, in mere minutes, reduced to a pile of crushed wood, steel and stone. Where just minutes ago sat a place of warmth, happiness and holidays, now was a treacherous wasteland filled with splinters, shards of glass, and razor sharp edges no one would dare explore.

It shocked me how fast it happened.

On December 9, 2006, while preparing for a huge birthday party to celebrate her 31st birthday, Maggie grabbed my hand, put it to her chest right below her rib cage and ask “Does this bump feel weird to you?” “Oh”, I thought, “This might be an inconvenience” but didn’t think much more about it and we had a great party that night.

It shocked me how fast it happened.

By the following weekend, she was having pains. By Christmas break she couldn’t keep food down. By New Year’s Eve (the one in New Orleans with friends we had been planning for months) my once vibrant wife was having difficulty walking. And by January 6, 2007 we were in the hospital. That big ol’ backhoe, the one parked right out on the street in front of our house that we didn’t pay much attention to, had just taken its first crushing scoop out of the side of our happy home.

For the next 850 days we carried on with our lives, defiantly ignoring as best we could that cold, metal backhoe bucket as it methodically turned our loving home into rubble. With its final swipe, it left me holding my angel sitting stunned on top of a heaping mound of twisted steel, crushed wood and broken glass that covered the happy memories of what used to be our life together. Now, it’s just me, alone. 

It took a while, a long while, but now I’m no longer sitting. Daily I scoop and sweep. With a lot of tough work, I’ve cleaned off a small area now where I live. The rubble is still here and some areas are quite treacherous. But the foundation is still strong – we built it solid and reinforced it with lots of love and respect and smiles, although it sure is chipped up and I just don’t know what it can be used for now. And I still have a whole lot of cleaning to do. But I’m cleaning and (shudder) eventually rebuilding.

I think I’m going to put up a big sign that says “Watch This Space!”

Maybe if for no other reason than just to remind me.


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