Early December brought a big splash. Our sweet home erupted in chaos when a pipe burst late one night and rushed dirty, dangerous water through most of our home. Flooring, baseboards, walls and many personal items were damaged and others were soaked through but salvaged. Needless to say, it was a traumatizing experience for all of us as we watched our home become a shallow lake and transition into an unsafe and inhabitable zone.
The rapid response of those who would become a light in the horrible experience arrived on scene at 3 am and worked through the early morning. They suctioned water from every crevice and removed all the soiled portions of the walls and ripped up flooring. As my mother shook from exhaustion and worry, the men who took care of our home reassured us that they would remove all hazardous materials and also filled up a portable storage unit with most of our furniture and belongings (which now sits comfortably in our driveway).
As weeks progressed and we grew comfortable sleeping on our couch and the inflatable mattress, we received an insurance check to begin construction on our home. Those first few days of repatching walls and choosing floor tiles brought us a sense of relief that things might soon be back to normal. Along the way, we encountered several more bumps that halted reconstruction but I can finally say that we could be close to the end.
Three months of living under such conditions where our kitchen sink became the only sink in the whole house and all of our belongings were piled into our dining room, I realized that you never know what someone might be going through. It taught me to be kinder and more sensitive to someone’s mood because you never know if they are experiencing something unfortunate. Although I was lucky enough that I could seek reprieve in a hotel, in the beginning, there are others who cannot escape their troubles as easily. It should be remembered that at any moment your friend, peer or acquaintance could be struggling or frustrated because of something they are dealing with.
The moral of the story is to be aware that although someone may seem snappy or just down, there is a chance their attitude can be attributed to a personal matter weighing heavily on their mind.
As I write this, I am growing excited over the possibility of returning to a complete home soon. I look forward to putting my clothes back in my closet, having a brand new bathtub, and sleeping in my bed. I am especially eager to see my home without the several layers of dust accumulated through weeks of construction. Living under construction is never easy but we have made it work and it taught me a few things along the way.