Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 45: Rebuilding

My favorite memories with my grandma are watching her hold my babies.  That was the happiest and most content I ever saw her.  I'm so happy that I have photos of her holding each of them.  Most of them with my babies asleep--she just has the touch.  I just found out that she passed away this morning.  It was not unexpected, but it is still a loss.

That is not what I intended to post about today, however.

I wanted to write down an epiphany I had on my run this morning.

Over the summer a home in a neighborhood not far from us burned down.  It's a nice neighborhood and the home was quite large and nice.  Today, now that it is light during my runs again thanks to Daylight Savings ending, I saw that they are rebuilding.

Even though I hadn't really thought about the home as I ran past it in the dark, seeing it now, with the walls up, I wondered why they hadn't made more progress on it yet.  I thought about the process that entails.  Initially, I thought about my own home and all of the things about our house that bother us.  Some a great deal, and some not as much.  And I thought about the opportunity this family now has to go begin again and fix, or change the things they didn't like about their house previously.  They can make their house even more beautiful and wonderful than it was before.

Then I thought about the unimaginable loss that I am sure accompanies a fire.  Things like old photos, letters, and baby blankets.  And more than I can even imagine, I'm sure.  Things that no amount of money or time can ever replace.  And the heartbreak and devastation that must bring.  In addition, the items that can be replaced, but not without a lot of effort and headache--like birth certificates and dishes.

As I continued thinking about it, I thought how fortunate that the foundation is made of stronger stuff.  Something that cannot burn down.  So, at least they have something strong to re-build from.  And how much they will enjoy their beautiful home when it is finished--even though that may take some time.

All the while, I found myself relating to this home quite a bit.

I feel as though something has come through and ravaged the very essence of me.  Like I've been completely gutted.  And if homes had feelings, I'm sure that home would have felt so lost and empty once the flames were put out and it discovered how very little was left.  And that much of what was left was too damaged to be used.  And so they knocked it all down.

That is how I feel.

I think about all of the things that my depression destroyed along its path of devastation.  All of the days with HH and my children lost to my anger or complete despair, or both.  Days that I might have spent building sweet memories, but instead isolated away from those I love.  People I've hurt.  Relationships that I've simply let go rather than put in the time and effort to nurture, or repair.  My confidence.  My self-worth.  And, almost, my ability to love or be loved.

So much is gone that I feel I will never get back.

But, I then I remembered that foundation.  In just the past couple of days, as I've been spending some pretty intense time digging through the ashes these last two weeks, I think I discovered my foundation.  I thought that had been lost completely, along with the rest of me.  But, it's still there.  And miraculously, it has been stronger than all of the devastation depression has brought with it.

Because that foundation is love.  And I do believe that love conquereth all.

The love I have for my family.  And the love they have for me.  And, even though I've distanced myself from it quite a bit, the love of my Father in Heaven.  Which is truly there unconditionally, even if I don't allow myself to feel it.

And so, I can begin the process of rebuilding.

And it terrifies me.

But, I'm trying to focus on the opportunity I have.  To fix those flaws and weaknesses that I had before.  Not to be perfect because that's what started the fire in the first place.  But, to find peace and contentment.  To become a stronger person.  To stand tall again.  To leave behind the ashes and to become something of beauty.  And to let that foundational love grow until it permeates every bit of who I am.  So it can never burn down again.


Melanie said...

You have a gift for writing and a fearless courage and honesty. Our darkest hours and purest moments of reflection often become the light of hope for so many others that haven't discovered yet or needed reminding. Thank you. I love you.

Linda said...

What a powerful lesson you have taught in this post. I am a visual learner and your analogy helps me to understand better what you've gone through. I want to understand it better. I am grateful that you can see the positive outcomes that are ahead, for the house as well as you. I love you, Cheryl.

RETA said...

Thanks for writing!


Lisa Carlson said...

Hey, Cheryl. I just read Sister Reeves' talk from the General RS meeting, and had forgotten she said this: "My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally." She was talking about the Provo tabernacle being burned down, and now it will be a temple. Also, have you read President Uchdorf's talk from the priesthood session?

Anyway, just want you to know I'm thinking about you and am so sorry to hear you've been having such a rough time. I hope things continue to look up. I love you!