I know better than to wait until Monday to write these things… but that is exactly what I did on this given Monday. As I sat here sipping my luke warm coffee, staring at this blank page mocking me with it’s emptiness, I got a fetching idea. I would google “I Made It Monday” to gather some inspiration of what to write. Apparently, someone else would know better what my week entailed than I did, or so was the thought process I had going. Needless to say, it didn’t quite work out as I had planned.
So here I am, staring at a nearly blank page, shuffling through the files in my mind of this past week searching for that one key event that will springboard a post idea. Frankly, the issue is that I have something else on my mind. Something that is eating me up inside. Something that makes me want to scream. Something that makes me wonder if she’ll ever think anything good about me or mine. Something that makes me know that I AM better than she thinks, because I have survived through her thinking that I’m never good enough.
As many of you know we were recently unjustly evicted from our home. The whole story, briefly, is that we were paid over six months in advance expecting an income loss while my husband had surgery and recovered. For many reasons, that will never happen again, we had no proof of the amount we paid this company that would hold up in court. Consequently, we didn’t have the fight left in us to attempt a battle that we were likely to legally loose, and thus, an eviction happened.
As you also know, we survived. We are making payments on a house which we love. By the end of this year it will be paid off. We will outright own this home and no longer have any house payments/mortgages to worry about. As is typical, the home came at a low cost for a reason. When we were handed the keys it was a mess, but not a mess we couldn’t handle. The house had sat empty for over ten years. The electric, plumbing, heater vents, were useless. There was no toilet, the tub lay on its side, the kitchen was covered in so much filth that the entire cabinetry needed to be torn out. The house, three stories including the basement, was buried with at least three foot of junk throughout. All of the windows need replaced. The paint on the siding is chipped. The exterior doors need to be replaced. The hardwood floors need to be refinished. And the list goes on.
As you may not know, we now have two of our four adult children living with us as they were recently without a place to go, as well as our uncle and sister. Two of our grandchildren are here everyday and a third every other weekend. We are filled with people, their belongings, and their chaos. We could have told them all no. It raises our bills, raises our blood pressure, crowds our house. We could have just as easily turned them away, but we didn’t. We know what it feels like to have no where to go, no where to turn, no one to run to, and that is a feeling we will never allow our loved ones to feel when they think of us.
We’ve worked hard on this house. Within two days we had all the garbage removed. A week my husband had electric and plumbing fixed. The kitchen gutted. Two months later we have a mostly organized home. Sure, it still has another pile in the yard that is awaiting the arrival of a second dumpster to remove. It still has windows and exterior doors that need to be replaced. The walls need to be torn down, re-insulated, and dry walled. Our kitchen counters are currently made out of wood. But we have done so much work, and continue each day to make it one day better. Our house is quickly becoming a home.
But that is not what is on my mind. That is not what is angering me. That is not what makes me want to scream. What is eating me away is what someone said when they came to my home over the weekend. This someone has known me since the day I was born. They have known my entire childhood. They have seen the demons I’ve lived through. The hotel rooms I’ve been raised in with my two sisters and my mother. The drunken nights and violent fights. The black and blue, broken mother I would leave the hospitals with. The years of living at my grandparents house, surrounded by years of stored items they had saved. The new schools and the lost best friends. The scattered childhood of an alcoholic single mother of three girls that was doing all she could just to survive. This person has seen all of this, known all of this, knows even more than you about my entire situation, and actually called our home, “deplorable.” They cannot understand how I can possibly live like this, I was never raised in such dump.
Live like what? In a house full of love. A house full of hard workers doing what needs to be done. A house that wouldn’t leave their children and grandchildren living on the street. A house that doesn’t look down on people, especially so when they have no right, no room, no idea.
Apparently I was raised better than what my husband provides for us. I know deep down this is what the sayer of these words meant. Funny, I remember this same person turning to me after so many drunken violent nights and saying it always gets better. There’s always a rainbow after the rain. I remember this same person saying that things don’t matter, houses don’t matter, love matters, people matter, and home is wherever your family is. I remember this same person teaching me compassion for others, to never think you’re better than anyone, to always give to others, that there is always someone worse off than you.
Sadly, I think there is someone worse off than me, the sayer of these words. Because, to say my home is deplorable, to believe that I was raised “better” than this, means that they are unable to see all that I see. They are unable to see past the spilled chocolate milk on the floor and the toys scattered everywhere. They are unable to see past the peeling walls and the scuffed up floors. They are unable to see past the pile in the front yard. They are unable to see past the wooden counter tops. They are unable to see past the few boarded up windows.
Sadly, this person can’t see the love that is in every inch of this home. The smiles of the grandchildren I wake up to. The teamwork of people helping every day turn into the next. The husband who endlessly gives to provide for all the people in this home. The children that know that no matter what struggles Mom and Dad are going through, they will ALWAYS have someone to run to. This person is unable to see that we are blessed beyond imagination and ever so grateful for all that we do have.
I began this post angry. I was angry and hurt by the words that were said. But now I’m just sad. I’m sad that the sayer of these words, the woman that raised me to see the glory in all that I have, looked at my home, at my family, and called it deplorable. Sad, that this person does not see the world through the very eyes that she raised me with.
This post is more than just a vent of my pain, it is a reminder of what anger can do to us. Anger over our situations. Anger over the words said to us, about us. Anger at the actions of others. Anger that boils inside of us for so long that it turns into a rage of pain. A rage of voices screaming inside of us drowning out the whispers saying we are so much more than our situations, more than the words said to us, about us, more than the actions of others against us.
In the end, no matter how deplorable your situation… there is always a rainbow after the rain.
~Anger can destroy you, or it can motivate you to be better than you ever were. The choice is yours.