Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Storm

I watched from the kitchen window as a portion of my childhood split and fell.
The storm came from a seeming nowhere. It was Friday night, we had just been at the ballpark and enjoyed a game played by my eight year old son. The sky had been overcast but nothing to suggest a storm with 70 mile per hour winds was heading our way.
By the time we got into the house, sprinkles were scattering dry deck boards. Soon after, the winds came ... blowing everything out of place.
Moments later, hail made its precense known on my roof. And then ... the lightening. I'm not usually unsettled by storms. Most of them come and go leaving only a few tree branches here or there. This one ... it was different.
The massive oak tree in our front yard ... the one that shades my deck in the August heat and shelters our home from December winds ... it split in half. A mighty wind tore it apart and left a mess in my front yard. I watched it ... the wind tearing apart what I love. That tree was planted by my ancestors. It's given shade and comfort to generations of our family. Now ... now, it's not the same. This one half still standing, it doesn't look right all by itself. It's beautiful, large and healthy ... but it needs the other half to be a whole. The insurance adjustor came and left ... leaving the figures ... what is my tree worth and how much will it cost to remove ... to clean up what's left ... $150. The adjustor asked if I had any questions ... questions ... no, I'm just mad about my tree.
You can't put a price tag on shelter, shade, comfort ... history.
That's not all we lost this weekend. Saturday, a car accident took the earthly life of someone we hold very close. Theda ... a friend of our family and a portion of my childhood passed from here and into the sweet hereafter. There isn't enough space in a small blog to write all the moments she and her family touched. I knew her from church, when I was a little girl. Theda and her husband, Bob, were friends of my parents. We spent time at their home ... my sister and me ... dancing to Donnie and Marie Osmond records, sleeping on the "hide-a-bed" and eating popcorn.
Theda played piano on the day I was married. She and Bob came to my home and rocked my babies when they were newborns. Just this past February, I was ill and Theda brought supper.
And, now there is Bob. One half ... still beautiful and special but not the same. I feel as if the Dawes' were torn apart ... one fallen and the other remains. Just like Theda, Bob is a portion of my childhood. They can not be replaced. Nothing can make the empty space seem whole.
I know life is not about waiting for the storm to pass ... but, learning to dance in the rain. Over the past week, I feel like I have been waiting for a storm to pass. I can't imagine how her family is living through this storm.
I should have been dancing in the rain. Remembering all the special times shared with Bob and Theda .... their children ... all the special people from my childhood.
These are the reasons I am dancing in the rain ...
Donnie and Marie Osmond records playing while my sister and I danced on the rug in Bob and Theda's kitchen.
Slumber parties on my parents bed, watching The Wizard of Oz with Brenda and Alecia Peas.
Sunrise Easter Service at the Methodist church, all our friends watching in the dawning sunlight.
And there are so many more.
Why are you dancing in the rain?
1 King 19:11-12 "Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."


  1. Aine so sorry for the loss of Theda, I remember her when I was just a child, she was my sunday school teacher, super lady. And that old oak tree is the one I played in as a child. Lots of memories on that farm. Kathy

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Why do we dance in the rain? Because we know the gentle whisper will follow.


  3. I'm so sorry for your losses this weekend.
    Your analogy of Bob and the tree is beautiful though.
    I will say a prayer for you and the loved ones in your life that have been touched by this sadness.

  4. I agree, Aine, the analogy was very beautiful! I had a somewhat similar experience about ten years ago when our large tree in Warren was cut down. Not too long afterward my grandma passed away, and it seemed a very natural symbol to me too. Trees are such beautiful representations of life and loss. And I am praying for the loss your family and Theda's is experiencing.

  5. thank you each ... for your prayers and words of encouragement.

  6. Aine,
    I am so sorry for your losses. What a beautiful tribute to two childhood friends. (I have a soft spot for trees myself.) I am praying for Bob as the coming days will be very difficult for him. I pray he is surrounded by those whom he love and God will send angels to minister to him. (((HUGS))) to you, dear friend.