I pulled into the driveway.
It was Friday evening. The junk food in hand and wine awaiting my lazy evening.
I step out of the car and see a puddle of water in front of the garage door.
'Did it rain?'
I open the garage door and the water starts pouring out.
'It's probably the water heater in the garage. It must be.'
Then I see it pouring out the small cracks of the door leading into our home.
I exit the garage. Close the door.
Hold my breath for an instant and start walking towards the front door.
The sidewalk is soaked.
I was afraid to enter.
I looked through the glass panes and see it.
4 inches of water throughout.
I open the door. Set down the drive-thru food.
'The computer cord' flashes through my mind. I unplug it.
Michael's combat boots by the front door. I grab them and set on higher ground.
I didn't think about much more. The electricity and cords probably should have been a first thought...to conventional for my brain, I guess :)
Clothes are floating, carpet is rippling like waves in an ocean.
I put the dogs outside. Call the emergency water shut off and sit in my car.
Long story short...much was ruined. The whole hose has been boxed up. All of my laundry was sorted through by commercial dry cleaners and is who knows where (makes me regret the stacks of clothes unwashed ;D ). The walls drilled through. Floors ripped up. Photos and every memento taken down by strangers.
But I had what I needed:
My dogs. His combat boots (his flag was safe on a mantle).
With further rummaging...the letters he wrote me, his voicemails, and portraits of our Charlie.
It's all I had. It's all I needed.
And even if those didn't make it, a calm draped over me that it would reminded me all will be okay.
The crazy thing is I never screamed, cried, became hysterical, etc.
It was as if the house was on fire and I grabbed the essentials and quickly became at peace with all I might have to part with.
As the water rushed through every inch of our house, enveloping everything in it's grasp...In a way it enveloped me with the knowledge that the material was the material. What I needed was with me or already within me.
I'm unable to live there for another month, but as I lay her with my dogs, a picture of Michael and Charlie, and a bag of clothes that will more than suffice..I'm grateful.
It could have been so much worse. I could have lost so much more. I could have not been as ready as I was when the pipe broke.
It's a new beginning for our home...and a new chapter in me simplifying my life with the essentials....high off the ground ;)
I've gained so much more than I lost.
For once I've realized the strength and fortitude I had no idea was within me.
My soul was tested unwillingly and passed with flying colors.