Looking back on events, I can almost always find purpose in what I once thought was tragedy. That’s not to say that “everything happens for a reason.” I believe we have more responsibility in, and consequently, more control over life than that. Rather, it’s a feeling that the world meets us where we are. Opportunities and lessons present themselves when we need them to, and sometimes it seems tragic and overwhelming, but it’s exactly the contrast we needed to break a pattern. It may sound like rationalization to some, but I try to think of it as allowing change.
With experience, this hindsight comes earlier and earlier, to the point where it’s no longer hindsight at all, but a way of accepting what is. So it’s no surprise that I’m finding a sense of calm and resolve at the news that, on Monday this week, my parents’ house was struck by lightning, caught on fire, and burned. (The photos in the slideshow are of their house.) See, my folks (who live in southern Indiana) were visiting family here in Michigan for Memorial Day weekend, and they had brought their dogs with them. My mom seems to have a mystery nerve disorder and is in a motorized wheelchair, and had she been home, I don’t know if she would have made it. As it happened, no one was home. Everyone is safe. I’m truly thankful for that.
When I spoke to my mom, I was shocked, but calm. She didn’t need me blubbering on about “Oh my God, what a tragedy, what are you going to do?!” I told her I love her, hung up, and called Karin. That’s when the blubbering came. And then I was done. I called my mom back and asked if she wanted to stay with us and told her we could help her get around. She thought she and my dad could be there for each other, and I agreed it was probably better that way.
So they’re down there and I’m up here and there isn’t much I can do at this point. I can offer my love and support, and I can solicit the same from friends and family. My sister is driving down this weekend to spend some time visiting our mom and packing up salvageable stuff with our dad. I won’t be able to get the time off of work, but I can send a bit of money and lots of love.
Maybe it’s because I’m somewhat removed from the situation, but I know good things will come of this. I fully expect to see serendipity and synchronicity in the weeks to follow. If I could give my parents one concept to hold onto right now, it would be simply “allow.”
I will tell my mom to allow herself to feel the feelings she’s having right now; to allow for positive thoughts of opportunity and possibility to take root in her being; to allow the unfolding of events to happen naturally and perfectly, knowing that it’s all taken care of.