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I Have Been In This House For 19 Years And This Has Never Been A Threat

Posted on Sunday, March 05, 2017

A SHORT STORY:

Long days at work, family commitments, kids, chores, boss, and recreation…. LIFE – How did I even have time to sleep, let alone spend quality time with the one I loved?

I met her in college, but I wasn’t the type of guy that would interest her. I was a poor city boy, and she was a free spirit country girl.  I didn’t follow the norms of life including homework and regular attendance in school.  She followed the rules, was always on time, and always completed her homework assignments.  Of course this wasn’t a problem initially because the looks and charm overshadowed my flaws :-).  The good boy looks, street wise responses, and charm lasted a long time even into marriage and into the start of our family.  The first years were actually quite amazing!

But after 20 years of marriage, our differences were out in the open; the charm and good looks could not cover over our real differences, our true values, or differences in child rearing.   The strife in our home was enough to make me “want” to work overtime or even stop and visit a few friends at the bar before I came home.   Our arguments began to affect our kids in school, as not only their report cards clearly displayed , but also the constant notes that were attached to them.  After our third student conference it was clear that the issues were having a deeper affect on our kids than we both realized.   We were both in our early 40’s and have gained a measure of maturity, so we knew that something had to be done.

One day while I was washing dishes after dinner, she tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned around she looked me directly in the eye and asked me three questions, “what are we doing?”, “Where are we going?”, “Should we keep this going even if we are both unhappy?”.  I was floored, taken-a-back, and pretty much stunned.  Although I had asked those questions internally I never expected to hear them voiced by my wife.  My wife wanted answers and now it was decision time.   I asked her to let me think on those questions and we could talk later that night.

Although we operated the household as a partnership, because that’s what you have to do when you have kids; we lost “us” in the process.  We forgot that we were lovers, friends, and intimate partners.

I had to get back to “we”.  Remembering that:

“we” planned the wedding together,

“we” were married in front of friends and family,

“we” bought our house together,

“we” brought life into this world,

“we, we, we, we”…I had to get back to “we”.

I had to continue to remind myself that my friends, family, job, or personal interests no longer take precedence…. My spouse had to come first and I needed to make this relationship a priority!

I realize that we truly haven’t had any free time together for the past two years.

The talk:  The talk lasted an entire night and resulted in tears, frustration, extreme voice escalation, and finally an intimate kiss.   I knew that she wanted to fight for what we have built, she still wanted me, and she still wanted “us”.

I was determined to make this work and I had to do something drastic fast and keep the momentum going.  I had an upcoming “guys” trip to Costa Rica which I immediately canceled and informed my wife that we were going to spend a week on a cruise.   The kids at Grandma’s house for a week (This was a real vacation for the kids since they were flying from Arkansas to Miami) and my wife and I on a cruise in the Mediterranean reconnecting – the stage was set for the beginning of a renewed love and friendship.   No cell phones, no email, no electronic communication – just my spouse and I.

Everything went just as planned.  We reconnected in ways that only newly-weds or one feeling the thrill of new love can understand.   On our last day of the cruise we set monthly and yearly goals, agreed to certain aspects of child rearing, and we even set our “we” priorities to include a date night once a week.  Things were looking great!

As we reached the U.S. mainland I turned on my phone to find that I had 102 messages, some marked urgent, 300 emails, and 186 missed calls.  The emails and text were from everyone but my employer.  In fact most were from unknown people (authorities of some sort).   As I read, re-read, and re-read again the same message in several emails I was in shock; my wife could see the look of shock and disbelief on my face and asked what happened.  I couldn’t even speak! I let her read the text and emails.  I didn’t know whom to call, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t have any back up plan for this, and I never considered that such a thing could or would ever happen to us.  Heck I’ve been here in this house for 19 years!  This was never a threat.  I repeat, “This was never a threat”.

What happened?  I was alerted that the cache river overflowed its’ banks and wiped out…. totally destroyed 70 homes, including the one I own.  My first thought was well at least it wasn’t a fire because I can still salvage everything that was up on the second floor and maybe some things in our four safes and who knows what else.   

We called my Mother and asked if the kids could stay a few more weeks.  No problem.  Called the insurance company to verify our contents coverage – (I could write a book on this now, but I will save you the trouble of searching for it by saying these three words, “buy flood insurance”).   When we got to our hometown, authorities had everything blocked off.  We informed them that we had to get to our home.  The National Guardsman asked what was our address, he plugged in the address pulled up the GPS coordinates based on the address and plotted it on a map.  A real time photo came up which showed NO HOUSE!  Our house was literally uprooted from the foundation and destroyed by rushing floodwaters.

Friends, we hope you read the entire short story.  We live life every day and sometimes we let the little things that we know we should be doing go by neglected and as result, they build up from a small pebble into a boulder…. a boulder that could one day crush us.  In regards to relationships – well it’s the small every day things that count – A touch, a kind word or gesture, a listening ear, a phone call, a flower, a date night, etc.

Two things we don't want to add to every day life is WORRY and FEAR.  Worry about natural or manmade disasters or unforeseen emergencies.  What to do? How to plan?  Who to turn to?  What should we put in place now so we can be prepared to respond and recover?  How can we “really” recover from a disaster?

NEPTA has the solution and it is coming very soon – SPECIFICALLY DEVELOPED BY FAMILIES AND ITS FOR FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS.  We’ve tested it in 6 different states and among top first responders and emergency managers as well as many families.  The words “unmet needs” will finally be a thing of the past.   Stay tuned to our official launch of this product and see how the above story, even with the terrible outcome, could actually be a manageable situation for this family and how they could feasibly quickly recover from this devastation.

NEPTA

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