Thursday, July 26, 2012

Storms and Calls

This post is part of a synchro blog at in which we answer the question "What is saving your life right now?" Hop on to her blog to read all of the amazing responses!


I look upon grandpa's silhouette, dark in front of a tear-dropped wet window. His stature is sloped, worried. On the other side of thin glass the world rains angry, yells, lights up here and there.

The house is dim, quiet (well, except for the weather channel screeching in the kitchen). The family is gathered round the forecast, table set for an early dinner in anticipation of the power failing. We notice that the tomato plants out back have toppled--this before the wind has even come. A stray limb is sitting on the front lawn.

The weather channel bleeps loudly and all turn and listen as the monotone voice issues a thunderstorm warning. All are on edge, for a storm a few weeks back leveled parts of this town.

Soon, the colorful weather map dances behind us as we chomp our corn and serve up the barbecue. It is all very American--the meal, the Norman Rockwell hanging all around us, the wide, green fields spreading before us out the kitchen windows. All except the boy. He is distinctly NOT American, though you wouldn't know it until he began speaking. He is from the other side of the world.

He has come here for the summer, from an orphanage in a far off land. When he interviewed for the trip he, twelve years old, told the lady that he wanted to come to America to see his sisters. Two sisters, brought here four years ago, now part of a family. He is still an orphan, living without a true home thousands of miles away from them. All he wants is to see them while he is here.

We have been unable to make it happen so far, and we only have one week left.

He is a dear boy. One of the dearest there ever was. He is quiet and shy and goofy and silly. And SUCH a cheater at Uno. And he won't let you take his picture even if you make your meanest face and threaten him with...well, there isn't much you can threaten him with. But the mean face has not worked.

And this. This is what is saving my life right now:

As the thunder rumbles, as the storm passes through, the phone rings. My husband runs out to the car, comes back in with a tattered u.s. map, secludes himself in the other room. I hear words like "visit" and "Kentucky" and "Saturday" and I know who it is.

It is his sisters' family. They responded. We make plans to see them in two short days. In person.

There is a whole story there. A story of wild coincidences (coincidence? Do any of us still believe in such a thing?) and the kindness of time. It is a story for another day because it is still so unwritten.

But the fact is that tonight, as the skies sob and the atmosphere rages, a phone call is what is saving my life.


Sarah Bessey said...


Jenny said...