Saturday, August 18, 2012


The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann

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 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.


  1. Taryn, I'm so sorry this happened. You certainly did pass this test with flying colors. I don't know how you do it. After 3+ years, I feel that I fail every day.

  2. Taryn, I am so proud of you. xo

  3. (((Taryn)))Huge new chapter for you, yup but nothing compared to what you have been through, at times we find we are able to keep ourselves calm with the thought
    "this is nothing compared to what I have lost already", yes it sucks but this can be fixed my loss of my love can not....."

  4. Oh my. My heart is with you. What a great reminder you have given us all. As I think of what I would do, my grabs would be the same: my flag, my set of dog tags, my flash drive of pictures. Thank you so much. Susan

  5. Taryn,
    I am so NOT surprised by your reaction and your amazing strength. Oh precious friend and lover of quotes, I LOVE your eloquent words that will continue to inspire me: "What I needed was with me or already within me."
    You truly are a shining light and I count myself so fortunate to know your smile, your strength, your beauty and your courage. Thank you for being the one and only amazing YOU!

  6. I had a flood last year too. What a reminder that the materialbis not important, but what we already have inside of us which is the love, strength, and courage. Thanks for being an inspiration and encouraging me tondig deep and find my strength.

    Maria O.

  7. Wow, your such an inspiration and the your strength that comes from within is amazing. Your so right what we need is already within us - great quote! What's in our hearts can not be broken or taken away, it remains with us always. SO glad to know you and call you my friend :-)

  8. Taryn, as traumatic as an event like this can be (especially when people think we're already "fragile"), it seems minor compared to all that we've already handled. Our home is supposed to be our safe place from all that the world throws at us. But things like this remind us that that's not always the case. I'm glad you took it in stride and were able to save the important stuff.

  9. I, too, had broken pipes, it was raining from the second floor down through the ceiling to the first floor! Nothing else to do but clean up fix up and move on. As others have said, it is nothing compared to the losses of our significant can replace the house and belongings but not a life. Yes, you have gained so much more than you lost.