The Big One


We had an earthquake last night.  I didn’t feel it.  It was a 4.4 I guess around 4 AM.  I live in California and they have been telling us forever how The Big One is coming.  And when it does it will disrupt life for weeks and destroy many lives.  I’ve lived through plenty of scary earthquakes.  Most of them go something like this: I am sitting there minding my own business, living out my day, when I hear a rumble or I feel a jiggle or jolt.  That is usually followed by a keen sense that something is amiss. But most people don’t react right away, they just kind of sit there and hope it’s a small one and will stop before they need to take cover.  Some of the earthquakes though continue to rumble and there is a point when even the most experienced earthquake veteran (maybe because of their experience) goes for the hallway and calls out to their loved ones telling them to drop and take position and prepare for the worst.  Get into your ball and cover your neck and head with your hands.  And pray.

I hate to think of what The Big One will be like in reality.  It’s just not something you want to think about.  But people say it’s good to be prepared.  And it’s true in life as well. It’s good to think positive and hope for the best but in this life there will be storms.  Things will come at you that shake your very foundation.  And if you are prepared, you will fair far better than if it catches you off guard.  I tried to prepare for my earthquake.  I felt the tremors, the warning signs.  I worried about my husband’s satisfaction in life often. I knew he was not happy in general with who he was.  I pleaded with him to take up a hobby, or get some friends and interests.  I pleaded with him to find a new job that would give him more self-respect.  I actually said the words to him, “One day you will wake up and decide you have had enough and I don’t want that to happen, so please, please, do something about it now.” I was fearful for The Big One.  I wasn’t one of those people who believed it would never happen to them.  But all the same I was unprepared.  My world came crashing down around me and I thought I was going to die.  I couldn’t imagine how I would survive.

The first rumble was when he came home from that trip and didn’t want me to kiss him.  The next rumble was finding the CD in his car with the note attached that was overly affectionate, asking him about it and having him say that he didn’t even know it was there.  Right.  I started to ask myself at that point if I should take cover.  But it wasn’t until the night we got home from our cruise and we got the angry phone call from the husband that I knew my world was going to be rocked in a way it had never ever been rocked before.   But I was ready to forgive you know and I figured he would be so sorry for being caught and would not want to lose what we had or his life that we would go through a time of transition, transformation and forgiveness and life would only get better.  But the rumbles got louder and more violent and it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was The Big One.

It was a mess.  Everything was broken into pieces. Everything.  I was wounded and while wounded I had to survive.  While wounded I had to press on.  But you either do, or you give up.  And there were times I wanted to give up because it seemed too hard.  But I didn’t.

See with an earthquake if your foundation is cracked into pieces you are finished.  Your house is toast.  And everywhere I turned there was another crack.  Everything I built my life on was falling apart and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it.  Before I knew it there were so many  broken pieces that I couldn’t hold it all together anymore no matter how hard I tried.  The foundation was bad to begin with.  I know that now.

So this time.  I want to start on the right foundation.  I do not want to expect any man to be all things for me, or to fulfill my every desire.  I have much more realistic expectations. And this time I will be prepared for the storms.  I will buy the water and dehydrated foods to sustain me through the worst life can bring.  Which I found out is a steady and consistent diet on the Word of God and it’s truth.  That is my lifeline.  That is what got me through without bitterness, and that is what healed my wounds.

I actually had a phone conversation with my husband last night about my son’s bad grades.  I told him that I have someone who “likes me.”  And he was very happy for me.  He asked about how he was and it was seriously like he was just a friend wishing me the best.  And there is a definite shift happening in my heart.  Away from the pain.  I’m dusting off my jeans and walking away from the rubble.  I’m not looking back at the catastrophe as often anymore wondering what I could have done to avoid all the damage.  It still happens.  But these days I’m planning for my future.

I had a great, great weekend.  Martin came into town for 4 days.  While I was driving him to the airport to go back home, my son called hoping for a ride home from school.  I told him I was in LA and did he want to say good bye.  He said he did, and that meant a lot.  My daughter also friended him on Facebook.  So this is happening.  He is becoming a part of my life.  His interview is the 22nd, and 23rd.  It’s very close now.  He flies to Chicago on Sunday.  If he gets this job, he might be moving soon, renting a place for a while and then buying one close by so we can begin building a life together.

He says, we are doing a good job at eating the elephant one bite at a time.

So here I am again.  I guess sometimes after people go through tragedies they get out of dodge.  I know people who have been single for years.  Not because they haven’t met anyone worth it but because they are afraid of getting their hearts broken again.  And believe me I have had the “flight” knee jerk reaction at times and thought myself utterly crazy for letting someone into my heart.  Especially so soon.  But like I told him yesterday.  There is a reason we met when we did and maybe it’s so he can understand where I’ve come from better.  Maybe it’s so he can give me that extra strength I need to keep myself from looking back.

2 responses to “The Big One

  1. Pingback: Aftershocks « Improvised Life·

  2. Pingback: You Can’t Escape Your Past « Improvised Life·

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