So um… yeah. Last Monday this happened.
And this too.
And oh yeah, almost forgot to show you this.
Twelve hours later, Kevin and I had to step onto a plane to fly to LA to try again to find a miracle cure that’s going to save his life. And our clothing and luggage looked like this.
I know, go ahead and laugh. I know I did. But first I cried. And then my four year old son helped me get a little perspective.
Kevin and I had just decided to head to bed early and deal with packing in the morning. We were standing in our bedroom when we suddenly heard a gigantic crash. Kevin thought it was an earthquake. I smiled for a second and said “We don’t have earthquakes in Atlanta, sweetheart.” But still, I was confused and trying to figure out what could have fallen to cause that kind of noise. It literally sounded like every cabinet in our kitchen had perhaps fallen off the wall. Which I started to think was not too unlikely of a possibility, given the way our life had been going the last few years.
I walked out of our bedroom into the office to see a table upended and six feet of tree limb.. well, you saw the pictures. Having no idea how this kind of thing affects a house, I envisioned our kids downstairs covered in rubble. I started calling to them as they started screaming. Kevin headed down the stairs to keep them from coming up while I screamed at him not to go down the stairs because they might collapse on him. But he was already gone.
I dialed 911, all the while calling down to Kevin, too scared to take a step, fearing one false move would bring the whole house tumbling around us. I saw that more tree branches had come through our closet at the top of the stairs and started to really freak out until I finally heard back from Kevin that he had the kids and they were okay. I gingerly made my way down the stairs, pausing to glance at the surreal state of our closet. There was literally a giant tree limb that you could have hung a tire swing off of, neatly poking through the wall.
We got downstairs and out front with the kids and then I broke down sobbing, holding the kids tight, which only made them cry harder themselves. At least Evie did. Ever like his dad, Jude thought the whole thing was cool and tried to comfort me saying, “Don’t cry mommy, it’s only a tree.”
The fire trucks arrived, neighbors arrived, a special team of people who knew how to see if a house was safe to go back into after a tree falls through it arrived. Kevin got on the phone with our homeowners’ insurance to open a claim. I cried some more. And then I finally started to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
In case you hadn’t been following very closely, Kevin has stage four cancer. For two years ya’ll. When we closed on our house, right before the whole cancer chronicles began, a tree fell through our backyard. Then the transmission died on the minivan we’d just purchased. Then we got one flat tire after another. Then the home renovation and repair contractor experience from hell (did I mention they installed three skylights upside down?) Kevin’s first surgery was five days after we moved in.
I stopped nursing Evie at 9 months because I just couldn’t keep up with everything else going on and constantly having to hand her off to other family members to care for her for days at a time. She got a serious urinary tract infection during our moving weekend and I struggled with intense guilt that maybe she wouldn’t have gotten so sick if I had still been able to nurse her.
Kevin had his second surgery right before Christmas. He had a third bonus surgery the same day. During nearly seven weeks of radiation, we battled squirrels in our attic who’d gotten in because of one shingle that our contractors had neglected to repair, causing over $1500 worth of damage. I spent most nights not sleeping worrying about my husband dying or our house burning down when one of those damned squirrels finally found some electrical wire to gnaw through.
The story continues and continues. There was that one time when I got two flat tires in 24 hours and that other time when Kevin went into the infusion center for fluids and we ended up finding his liver was shutting down, he might be dying within the week, and that he was no longer eligible for the trial that was his best hope for survival. And oh yeah, that other time when I got stuck traveling for 13 hours with a three and half year old and then that other time when I left my cell phone in D.C. only to have Fedex not be able to deliver it because of, you know, ice in Atlanta. And ooh yeah! Let’s not forget the time his treatment at the NIH was actually working but then tried to kill him and he was given three days to live.
But here’s the thing. We’ve made it through. It’s been a hell of a shit storm, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of the crap that’s whacked us over the head in the last two years. I don’t know why this stuff is happening to us. I don’t know if God is making it happen, if he’s letting it happen, if it’s satan attacking, or if we’ve just had some really really crappy luck. I know that it sucks and Kevin and I are both more worn out than we could have ever imagined. But I also know that it’s nothing really.
I mean, like Jude said, “It’s only a tree.”
We have a hope. We have a plan. We have each other. And we have today. And I guess that’s all we really need to worry about for now.
Thanks again ya’ll for ALL of your amazing support. We hope to see many of you at the benefit concert this weekend, and many more when we get settled into our little place in LA for the next couple of months. We love you all and are SO grateful for each and every one of you.