Rain Boots On
Once a month we hitch up the camper and drive away. Tom's RV was the one we pulled in beside for our most recent weekend getaway.
He and his wife, Joy, are 'full timers' in the camper world as opposed to 'weekenders' like us.
As he tells it, Tom has been cancer free for three years now. Although his life was spared, the fight came at a great cost. Loosing his job lead to lost medical insurance. Without coverage his medical bills ballooned to $600,000 owed. He lost his home, cars, and all he once claimed.
He and Joy now live in his grandad's little old RV.
It was a soggy trip and the sight of Zachary puddle jumping in his little rain boots reminded Tom and Joy of the little boy they once had who has since grown up and moved away. Their eyes brimmed with tears, happy tears.
The coming downpour started soft and we were each grilling our dinner out in it's gentle mist. I happily got my rain boots on.
I was listening to the Zac Brown Band while across the way Tom played air drums to the 'greatest percussionist to ever live' thrumming in his earbuds.
I wish I remembered the name of that percussionist.
Prior to this trip, the physical sky aside, it was cloudy in Ryan and I's world. We weren't seeing circumstances the same way. Feelings got involved.
This rainy trip brought back memories of another gray camping trip we went on months ago. The rain came down and the wind whipped and ended up snapping a tree. The crack was so loud and we saw it happen.
It had been a long stretch without weather at that time. A long stretch of what one might deem 'good weather.' The sudden 'bad,' albeit mild, weather was too much for the tree. It was brittle, too dry and out of practice to bend and sway.
In the morning when the clouds parted, we took the kids to see the broken tree. A massive branch was lost to the tree forever. It was large enough to be a sizable tree in it's own right but was now nothing but discarded wood.
I think now about what life's storms took from Tom as I notice him lost in a rainy drum solo. He bends, sways, even smiles.
I think of my cloudy days amongst much good weather. How I stubbornly stand firm as the wind whips against me. A feeling of brittleness in my bones as a mist or even storm picks up. Having not had to bend or sway in awhile I threaten to snap. I like good weather. I want perfect weather.
The dinner sprinkle of our most recent trip became an overnight downpour never letting up and prompting emergency alerts on the radio.
We left for home earlier than anticipated but refreshed. It was just what I needed. Rather than lament the clouds, and rain, and wind in my story, I absorb them. Ryan and I absorb them together, taking life back from them. Rehydrated and malleable. We are stronger for it.
We have weathered storms big and small in 14 years of marriage plus 4 years of dating. We have bent but never broke. A patch of 'good weather' won't be allowed to dry out the life and hydration gleaned in our harder moments. We don't break in any weather. Like Tom, we bend and sway; smiling while we lift our branches up and up.
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