Power--and the lack thereof


The past two days, there have been moments.  Moments of panic, moments of fear, moments of frustration.  There have been those of submission, knowing God is the only One I can rely on.  I've had several breakdowns where it seems like worries and fear have gotten the best of me, letting my doubts take over, and leaving me sit with a loss of what to do.   I have punished Jonah from his fits of angst so many times, it has left me feeling as if I am the worst mother on the planet. Amongst these moments of a common ground, I have also been comforted with those of joy.  I notice the innocence that my son carries--not understanding the crisis that we are experiencing.  He just thinks it's a day we get to stay elsewhere, something fun to do. While I have been in a driving state of concentration, Jonah happily has sat in the back seat enjoying the snow all around us. I've experienced a relief, and grateful demeanor, with those of realization that it could, in fact, be worse.

If you haven't seen on the news, Washington and Oregon have gone through what the reporters are calling, "snowmageddon". The bulk of the storm hit Tuesday night, leaving us to wake up to 8 inches of snow on the ground and counting. Car accidents, trees toppling, and icy road conditions were just part of it. Wednesday, reports of power outages began to stream in on facebook. We luckily held power throughout the night, but it soon ended Thursday morning at 7am. I heard it--it was soft, it was quick, and brought with it a heavy state of fear.  There in the room next to me slept an innocent boy.  It would be one thing if it were me by myself, but now it was another circumstance all together.  The temperature in the house would drastically decline. Patrick was not here to calm me down, or chauffeur us around to a safe place.

Let me just note that I have learned these past couple days that I am a little more naive than I thought I was.  In the past, I have relied on my husband to take away any fear that the weather brings.  He has always been my chauffeur when it comes to snow, and driving in the snow, and anything that holds a slight chance of the roads being icy.  He has always calmed my fears when we lose power, and has always been that physical support when I am at my whits end, sitting in fear of the unknown.  So when I heard news a storm would be coming our way--me and my naive self didn't think much of it.  Lesson now learned.

As stated, I have had moments.  That moment the power went off was one of nothing. Simply nothing. I stood there not knowing what to do, who to call, where to go.  This moment quickly changed to thoughts of, "what if" and realizations that I, clearly in no way, was prepared.  News came in that over 20,000 in our city alone were without power and it could be several days until electricity was restored. My husband was a quick text away, and knew my state of fear.   He booked Jonah and I a room on base, providing us with a warm and safe place to stay Thursday night.

I knew Patrick felt remorse that he couldn't be here in this state of panic and did all he could do to calm me down through texts and his voice.  With that though, I had a moment of realization.  Several of them, in fact, all reiterating the same thing--I had to do this. on. my. own.  I had to swallow my fear, take control of the situation, and hold an attitude of courage.  So I drove to the base--it may have taken me a slow 45 minutes and there may have been tears shed while doing it, but we got there.  With Jonah in tow,  I hauled our bags and Jonah's pack-n-play up the stairs.  We made ourselves comfortable for the afternoon and night.  I italicize 'comfortable', because anyone knows that no place is comparable to or like home in these conditions, but we made the best of the circumstances.  Happy to be in a heated and safe place.

As expected, our night didn't involve much sleep.  Being in a different environment put a toll on Jonah's ability to fall asleep, and my panic sunk further as I worried what the next day would bring.  Friday morning our home was still without power.  Having made plans to stay with a friend for the day, and possibly that night depending on the status of power, I checked out of our room.  I went home to assess the temperature and get more food and clothes.  With little sleep, Jonah gave signs of tiredness--and I chose to try and put him down for a nap.  With a onesie, full set of pajamas, jeans, hooded long sleeve shirt, and three blankets he fell asleep in two minutes flat.  Guess there's nothing like, -home sweet home-, despite the cool temperature of 51 degrees.

Right now I sit in a warm house.  I hear the soft hum of the computer as I type this, the dryer running upstairs, and am drinking a hot cup of coffee.  I am having a good moment.  A moment of clarity.  I've learned more about myself in the past couple of days then I thought possible.  You may think 33 hours without power is nothing to get all upset about. But for me, this was hard.  The emotions, the weight, the worry--all of it was hard. Simply stated.  Reflecting on all that has occurred, I am exhausted.  Physically and emotionally.

By all means, I do not want to experience it all any time in the near future--but having gone through this has allowed me to see a different side of myself.  I've learned when I am stripped of what I feel necessary to survive, I am stronger. That motherly instinct kicks in.  I, along with God's strength, can be powerful--even if my world lacks it.

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