Why Do Bad Things Always Come in Threes?

There is a strange horrible beauty to life, and death, sometimes. In the hours after a waterspout over The Chesapeake Bay turned into a tornado and ravaged our town in the earliest hours of Monday, July 24th — by the flickering light of candles — my younger daughter miscarried her child. Her sister curled up next to her on the bathroom floor holding her tight as we cried, then laughed, and cried again. We didn’t know what had happened a couple of miles away yet, only that the electricity was out. It wasn’t until my daughter’s partner had to drive from their apartment in Dover, DE through the gauntlet of emergency vehicles that we had any inkling. He barely made it thru as police has barricaded traffic, checked ids, a police officer only allowing him in because he explained what was happening in our house.

In the days and weeks preceding this awful night we had lost a new kitten to illness, nearly lost our beloved older cat to the same, had a car accident, and fought hard to hang onto this pregnancy. Terrible things do come in threes.

Weeping AngelThere is a strange horrible beauty to life, and death, sometimes. In the hours after a waterspout over The Chesapeake Bay turned into a tornado and ravaged our town in the earliest hours of Monday, July 24th — by the flickering light of candles — my younger daughter miscarried her child. Her sister curled up next to her on the bathroom floor holding her tight as we cried, then laughed, and cried again. We didn’t know what had happened a couple of miles away yet, only that the electricity was out. It wasn’t until my daughter’s partner had to drive from their apartment in Dover, DE through the gauntlet of emergency vehicles that we had any inkling. He barely made it thru as police has barricaded traffic, checked ids, a police officer only allowing him in because he explained what was happening in our house.

In the days and weeks preceding this awful night we had lost a new kitten to illness, nearly lost our beloved older cat to the same, had a car accident, and fought hard to hang onto this pregnancy. Terrible things do come in threes.

While she was staying with us younger daughter was on bed-rest and a high iron diet. Of course, we had just filled the refrigerator with wonderful, nutritious foods and they spoiled on their shelves. It was a financial blow we could not afford. Older daughter was told by her boss, even after only an hour of sleep that terrible night, she had to go to work or lose her job. Not a word of thanks was said when she went in to a day of only a trickle of customers. The store’s generator could run only a single register with the heat in the store nearly unbearable. It was a cruelty no one expects.

The electric company workers told us it would be 3-5 days for power to be restored. We didn’t know how we would survive in the hot-house. As soon as the police partially opened the road to allow people out, her partner took younger daughter, still suffering, back to their place in Dover.

 Amidst all this horror we found ourselves surrounded by unexpected kindness. Two friends, only known through Facebook, found a way to help by sending some non-perishable food, which carried us through the next few days. Their kind and hopeful messages kept me sane. I couldn’t be more grateful to them. Later in the evening after older daughter got off work, having not been able to get off the island for food, we were able to get over to the Chick-Fil-A. The line was wrapped around and through the parking lot. Once I ordered in my normal fashion we crawled toward the drive thru window watching each customer in front of us pay and receive their bags of food. When we pulled up, I reached my handed out the car window to pass the young women my card, which they waved away. “Your meal is on the restaurant today because you were so lovely when you ordered,” the young woman said holding the bag of fried bits of chicken and potato. Both older daughter and I burst into tears. I said it had been a horrible night and then day. They asked what had happened so I told these two strangers in a drive thru about the miscarriage and the candles while we all held hands through our respective windows, tears streaming down all our faces.

 Miracle of miracles, the power was restored sooner than expected. Many people lost a great deal that night. Some lost a portion of their houses, a few lost their entire home. Luckily, only one man was injured, eighty-one years old, crawled out from beneath his house – pissed off as hell, I hear — with a shard of wood implanted in his chest. He’s still angry, but fine. Time for all of us to rebuild.

When a Facebook Friend Dies

When a Facebook friend dies there is no protocol to follow. Sometimes the person sets up a list of a few friends to notify and spread the word. Other times, you just hear through a long grapevine and, occasionally, you never know why someone stopped posting. Those latter friends hang out in a strange limbo of not knowing. Were they incapacitated or did they just leave everyone behind one day in an exodus away from social media and its time sucking traps? What we don’t take into account is we have contact with these people often every day of our lives. How many “in real life” friends or even family can you say that about? Just over a year ago, I had lost a precious friend after a stunning and quick illness, but we shared a large group of people together. We grieved, and still grieve, together for the enormous loss she left behind.

On Friday, I learned of Bruce’s passing from a mutual friend. Bruce often disappeared for a week at a time due to limitations on his data streaming. When two weeks passed, I still didn’t notice. It seems like he liked and commented on some of the things I posted last week, but I guess that was three weeks ago and I’ve lost track of time. Caught up in my own problems and grief, which I didn’t share publicly, I didn’t notice him not being there. Had I posted about the death of my beloved uncle, or the struggles my mother is going through, he would have been one of the first ones there with a kind word. Even though he was on the other side of the world, in Australia, he always seemed to be around.

Trouble 4

Trouble, Bruce’s beloved “Boof-head” dog.

Bruce, also known as Unusual Ape, was a big man. Sometimes he got in trouble for hitting people, but almost always it was a man who abused a woman. I can’t imagine what would happen if he came upon someone abusing an animal, because of all the things Bruce loved in his life, it was his dogs… especially that “boofhead” Trouble. He would often record them lying in bed with Bruce’s big hairy arm across them, scratching their head and laughing in his deep rolling laugh. The thing about Bruce? He didn’t much care for people… not in person anyway, but his virtual friends were another matter entirely. He’d send messages, little videos, voice recordings, he posted the coolest stuff and wrote poetry. He had an enormous love and pride of family . His sister put up an obituary for him, “Ohana” it said, because, you see, Ohana means family. That’s from the Disney film Lilo and Stitch. No one believed in that more than Bruce.

A few years back, he bought a piece of land out in the Middle of Nowhere, South Wales, Australia. He documented his days long trip there in video. His dream was to build a Hobbit-like house, though he was going to start simple. He drew out a rough plan and started building a fence around the property. He may have been lonely sometimes, yet he had a joy out there which is difficult to describe. He’d arise at dawn to the sound of birds and watch the sun come up. Often he’d share these moments with a post.

I’ll miss the bastard. Facebook without Unusual Ape? Unthinkable. He was rough around the edges, but had a heart as giant as the moon. How could an asthma attack take his life? I can’t fathom it.