"It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living."

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The last day of spring and the first strong storm of the season rolled through town. We had straight line winds at 4:30am. I didn't hear the sirens but I did wake up just in time to get us in the basement. S was up for the day after that. I looked out our window around 5am to see that we had lost our beautiful tree in our front yard. Our yard only has this and one small tree in the front and one big tree in the back (I will cry buckets the day that comes down), plus three small trees that we just planted (2 apple and 1 plum tree, that I received as a gift for my birthday) so to loose one of our only trees is a pretty sad day. We had some other damage also: roof, fence, and our glass patio door. We were without power for 10 hours, my mom down the street was without power for almost 40hrs. However, we were one of the lucky ones in town. Later, as I drove to the other side of town to run errands, I found that the town had lost a devastating amount of it's large trees. There are entire streets blocked off because nearly (if not all) houses on the block had lost trees. Trees were uprooted (like ours) many landing in the road, in swimming pools, on garages and houses. Through all of this, I am reminded how good people can be. There were neighbors helping neighbors, and strangers helping who & where they could. As it happens, my husband was gone when all of this took place. He was hours away doing his 2 week annual military training. I didn't know where to begin with the cleanup and I am so thankful to those that stepped up to the plate to help us out. My friend's dad and her nephews came and sawed our tree into firewood for us. They worked for 3hrs in 90+ degree sunshine, barely taking any breaks, just to get the job done. I honestly don't know what I would have done without them. I had messages and phone calls from friends to offer their help and support, hugs from neighbors...the list goes on. 

The next part is harder to write...
2 days earlier, on Father's Day, I had to call my husband late at night to let him know that his mum was in the hospital across the world in Australia, and would soon be taken from him. Being on a military base, he was unable to leave or make any international calls, so he was unable to call his family. I felt horrible for him knowing how helpless he felt. Making the second call at 5am on Tuesday morning to tell him about the storm damage was not an easy call to make. In the end, his unit sent him home to make up his remaining training at a later date. 

I am so thankful.

Again, we have been blessed with the kindness of friends. A mate of my husband's, who lives in another town, is trying to raise enough money (through friends, military assistance, radio stations, his church) to get my husband a last minute ticket to Australia so that he can say goodbye to his mum. S and I have never met his parents, as he hasn't always had a good relationship with his family. Just recently he had mended fences with his parents, so for his mum to be taken from him at this time is difficult. He has only seen them once in the last 13+ years (since moving to the U.S.) and that was 5 years ago. We don't know the outcome of any of it yet, and I keep telling my husband not to get his hopes up, we are just so very thankful for the effort and kindness of others.

Fingers crossed. 


  1. How true the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald all of a sudden seems. The last photograph makes me think that Sunny's smile can conquer the sorrow of a falling tree, and a falling mother. I know my daughter did and still does.

    I have only read 'The Great Gatsby', but more than once. The final sentence, I will never forget (even if I had too look it up now to get it right): "So we beat on, boats against the current. Borne back ceaselessly into the past".

    I am sorry to write more about Fitzgerald, than about your husband's mother. Even if I am not very good with mothers, I would have bought him a ticket, if I could.

    Fingers crossed and love to you,

    1. Oh, thank you Lilli for your kind words. You know what they say, it is what it is. It did break my heart just a bit when Sunny asked, "Mama, do you think I just didn't give the tree enough loving?" The tree in our backyard gets all the loving around here. She hugs it, dances under it, runs around it, and one day will be big enough to climb up it. So I had to reassure her that even though we don't spend as much time in our front yard or with the tree that we lost, that it had nothing to do with how much love she showed it, it was all the wind and nothing more than the act of nature.

      Your offer to buy my husband a plane ticket if you could is simply the sweetest and brought tears to my eyes. His mum took a turn for the worse and is in ICU. Still no word on whether or not he will be able to get on a plane to see her. We are still hoping that a small miracle may occur. You have a big heart Lilli and a kind soul. I know my world is a little brighter since finding you in it.

      Thank you for the e-mail as well. The hacking of your blog is the pits and makes me wonder if I should make some changes around here.
      No worries though about S getting a gift. To receive a letter from E with a picture that she drew would make her heart soar. Just getting mail with her name on it really does put her over the moon.

      I agree, 'The Great Gatsby' is a gem.
      Thank you...thank you.


  2. Stay strong, and never stop believing in miracles, even if bad things happen! Your post made me realize how good and safe and happy I am... Hug

    1. Life IS good...and miracles DO happen. :)