Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ebb and Flow

Our pool holds approximately 22,000 gallons. On a good day. But she's almost fifty years old now and she's starting to have a hard time holding her water. I'm coming up on fifty myself; I can empathize.

Original owners' inscription beneath diving board

Now don't confuse empathy with acceptance, because I'm here to tell you that I was not exactly feeling understanding when we discovered that the old girl had sprung a leak. Concerned doesn't quite cover it. Worried, maybe. Disconcerted.

As the gallons continued to mysteriously dribble out for weeks on end, concern turned to anxiety. The pool guy just kept scratching his head, unable to determine where our fault line was hiding. He was taking the kind of wait and see attitude only one whose name is in no way associated with the water bill can take.

By the time the pool was half empty, anxiety had morphed into full on obsession, a lie-awake-at-night frenzy of panic and fear. Our girl was silently bleeding out, and the doctor couldn't save her.

This was terrible. This was catastrophic! Could this be any worse?

The answer to that question was waiting for me in today's paper.


Exactly a year ago today, it wasn't receding water, but rising water that gripped the hearts and minds of every person in Arkansas and her surrounding states. Heavy rains inundated the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers, causing them to swell and rage, consuming the Albert Pike Recreational Area where men, women, and children slept. Best friends Candace Smith and Kerri Basinger were there, camping with their families. The flood took both of their husbands and four of their children, ages two, five, six, and eight. The water claimed twenty lives that night.

The pool guy will find our leaks and patch them. We'll lower a hose in the empty hole in our yard and let the water flow. It will all be made right with the simple act of signing a name on a check. My mother always says, "If money can fix it, it ain't a problem."

As usual, she's right.

Tonight, I get to curl up in bed with my husband on one side and child on the other. How is it possible that I needed reminding that nothing else really matters?

If a lingering worry does creep up tonight, I'll shoo it away, and replace it with a prayer for the families of the Albert Pike flood.


Mom said...

That's my girl. I'm proud of always. love, Mom

Soozietoone said...

You always know how to put things in perspective.