We get to town, and I call SIL2, to find out where everyone is. It is after eleven o’clock and it is my hope that they have left whatever is left of the house. SIL2 says that everyone is at their apartment and I get directions (I haven’t been to their new place yet).
When we get there, mom is trying to rest and my brothers are in the living room. They try to fill me in as best they can. I want to go to Mom, but I can’t yet face her. Some things are just too hard and I feel guilty about the relief I felt that she was not in the house. It is after midnight when TheHusband finally tells me to go see Mom.
As I enter the dark room I can hear her sniffling, barely able to contain her sobs. My eyes adjust to the darkness and I see her lying on my niece’s twin bed. “Mom?” I whisper. She reaches out to me and I take her hand as I kneel next to the bed.
“What do I do?” she asks, and I am crushed by the enormity of all that has happened. She has always been my rock, but now she is turning to me to help her through this. Her world has shattered and she needs me to help her pick up the pieces. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do this. I haven’t learned everything she had to teach me yet.
“I don’t know. But we get through this one day, one hour, one minute at a time. And we pray, we pray for strength and healing.” I don’t say we pray for understanding, because I know that will never come. “We remember the good things and let past hurts be forgotten,” easier said than done I think, “and we hold on to one another and God.” There is no other way through this.
Despite my words, I am unsure of how we will make it through this. This woman has lost her whole life in just a couple of hours: her husband of forty years and her home, both gone. And I am lost because she is lost.