It’s raining. It’s been raining all day. Tonight, the rain taps lightly on my bedroom window. Occasionally, lightning flashes followed by low rumbles of thunder. It’s a calm springtime storm in Texas. No hail. No strong winds. No tornadoes. There’s a risk for flooding…we might get 3-6 inches of rain by the time this storm system moves through tonight and tomorrow.
I hate springtime in Texas because the weather can be so crazy. Wylie, where the massive hailstones fell, isn’t far away, and of course, there was the tornado that hit my town in December. We never know what to expect with Texas weather, and it’s especially true this time of year. Down here, we are taught from an early age to watch the skies. When severe weather is near, the air feels mean, the sky looks angry, the wind blows sharp, and instinct tells you to hide.
Instinct is powerful. Instinct told me, over a year ago, the hard knot I felt in my breast needed to be checked. Yet, I ignored it. And, I felt uneasy for months. Then, I found out my instinct was right; consequently, the last eight months of my life have been some of the worst months I’ve faced in my thirty eight years on this mortal coil.
But, I’m still here. Scared. Struggling. Overwhelmed. Trying.
Once upon a time, storms really bothered me. I hated the sound of thunder. I was scared of it. “Don’t be scared of thunder, sweet baby, it’s just noise,” my parents and grandparents would tell me. “Honey, it’s just noise. Chill out,” is what A told me. Thunder scared me because it only comes with storms. You never know what to expect with a storm. I don’t like the unexpected. I don’t like surprises. But, tonight, as I listen to the rain falling, I’m not as afraid of the rumbles of thunder as I once was. I’ve always understood thunder is just noise, but some crashes of thunder can vibrate through a window, a car, a person. It can be felt deep inside.
Maybe I don’t mind thunder anymore because I’ve spent so much of the last eight months caught in a storm, a personal one, with effects as devastating as meteorological ones. There’s repairs for me to make. Somethings will never, ever be the same for me. The vibrations reverberate. Even if this cancer stays at bay, the damage is done. And, if it doesn’t stay at bay, if it does come back, or is still lurking, how well can I really repair myself?
I’ve learned to appreciate things more I didn’t really appreciate before…the sweet smell of bluebonnets (which didn’t grow much this year in my area), the delight on my children’s faces when given “just because” gifts, the soothing sounds of springtime rain, the wind coming through my open moonroof driving home blowing around what hair I have, the funny snores of my cats as they sleep, the way A reaches over in the night to settle a hand on my head, the flashes of light in the distance.
I don’t like the unexpected. I don’t like surprises. My life has become a saga of the unexpected. Nights like tonight remind me to find solace where I can, even if it’s in something I once feared because comfort can come from the strangest of places.
Even from thunder.