February 19, 2010


liar, liar, pants on fire!
so we had a fire in our house this week.
no lie.
fire, fire in the drier.
i'm pretty sure that smoldering mass covered in fire extinguisher goo used to be a pair of pants.


it's been a rough week
my body has been ablaze with fiery nerve pain.
that ruddy inferno called babesia caused a flare of encephalitis
and well raging brain inflammation quite literally makes me a stark raving lunatic
(but of noteworthiness here, i must be getting well because i am only HALF the lunatic i used to be during these episodes!)
on top of dealing with my own physical hell
i'm having to help parker survive his own
he spent the week lying on the couch, wracked in pain and burning up
no fever but burning hot nonetheless
face flaming, body burning, heat so intense he spends his days stripped down to just his boxers
and so i find myself
still struggling with feeling like my entire life has gone up in smoke

it has been one THOSE weeks.
one hell of a week.
(pardon the language but i'm trying to keep the fire theme going here)

i am a study in momentary contradictions
one minute, i can embrace the flame and allow the fire to refine me
allow it to produce perseverance, endurance, courage, strength, compassion, joy
qualities i so desperately desire
the next minute the fire is my fiercest foe,
an all consuming, raging inferno
i am caught in a back draft of
anger, fear, frustration, pain, tears, sorrow
utter exhaustion
fitful, restless sleep comes only after countless tears have wet my pillow

wednesday things kinda hit a fevered pitch - one of those days when i was mostly ablaze in fury and engulfed in self pity

my folks were over
lucky them
they come every wednesday to help around the house
or in this case
seek to encourage, uplift, love, listen and pray over me,
the limp rag doll defeatedly lying on my convalescing couch, consumed by an onslaught of unsettling emotions

as they began to pray,
i heard the strangest guttural noise of panic come from upstairs
and suddenly graham came stampeding down the stairs,
skidded through our main level
and then whooshed down another flight of stairs into the garage
so loud was he that i'm sure he was taking them four at a time

inspite of the ruckus, we prayed on...
even when he came rocketing back up from the garage,
exploding through the door
blasting all the way back up both flights...
my folks continued in their praying
but i,
by that point,
was becoming a little distracted by all the banging and crashing

i opened an inquisitive eye and was about to respectively interrupt our spontaneous little prayer meeting to find out what in the world was going on
when the sound of screeching smoke detectors pierced the air
and the smell of smoke filled the air

fire, fire
in our drier!

really, it could have been a complete disaster
makes me shudder
the drier sits right beside the kids' rooms
just minutes before the drier self combusted,
avery had been asleep in her room,
the rest of us downstairs
graham had just gone up to get her
was right there
when the drier went up in flames

the appliance from hell and the (scarily) close proximity of it to the kids' rooms

so it could have been worse
a lot worse
as it is, the fire was totally contained to the drier
so what if my favorite sweat pants got singed
so what if the laundry is now awash in the gooey residue of fire retardant
we are all safe
hey, when your appliances go and all it costs you is a phone call to your landlord, well, it's possibly one of those few times when being a renter doesn't feel like a complete disadvantage
and yet
the whole flaming affair made me mad
it hit just a little too close to home
i wonder, what next?
here i sit
day after day
everything around me just keeps on going up in smoke.

and yet,
in spite of myself,
the whole flaming affair made me laugh too
i mean think about it
there we sat
me and my folks in fervent prayer
peaceful and oblivious
all the while
poor graham was running around the house like a mad man fighting a fire

oh the irony


My New Life said...

Dearest Shannon,
you do not need to pray for compassion, strength and courage for you are a person who radiates those qualitites to the whole world. Don't be afraid of anger - without it you would not find your courage in this fight. Don't be concerned about fear, for the things we want so much to avoid spur us on to persevere, when others would give up. Frustration sharpens our resolve. Pain, tears and sorrow lead us to compassion and understanding. Exhaustion passes eventually, as all things do, with a moment of laughter, a sunbeam of joy, and life goes on. You are our inspiration, for showing us your humanity, ALL of it.
your friend, Bev from England.

p.s. A dryer is nothing - i once set a dishwasher on fire, the flames leaping around inside while the water still cascaded down!

s. said...

thank you for this - it is one of the most beautiful things i've ever read. wow. wow.
and, as per your usual messages, this one left me both in tears and laughter. i feel priviledged and honored to have a friend who can set fire to a dishwasher. you are truly remarkable!