The Dance

I wonder when I will stop saying, “I can’t believe it”.  When will the new “normal” seem like normal? There will always be a line of demarcation: life before the fire and life after the fire.  I realize that the disbelief is a protective mechanism – probably somewhere between bargaining and denial.  Last night, I engaged in the “I can’t believe it” a little further than I have as of yet.  I allowed myself to really not believe it.  I imagined my house still standing, my life still on the track that it was, my oasis patiently waiting for my return.  Just for a moment I indulged.  Just for a moment, I wanted to forget, or return to normal.  I wanted to go back. 
The craving of “home” is strong and makes me weep right now.  That deep bone level craving, I have been keeping at bay.  Home.  My want for home, my need for home, my longing for home.  Today, David is driving to New Mexico with the amazing Chris Meehan to pick up our “new” 1967 Airstream trailer.  Home is on the way! 
In the early days after the fire (hey, I know these are all still early days – but it seems that it has also been many lifetimes…), for a much needed distraction, we browsed the web for Airstreams.  I have always loved the sleek retro look and had one on my dream list. The interior struck me.  Bright read accents throughout with a cowboy motif.  Something about the trailer, told me it was dearly loved.  It spoke to me.  Compelled, yet unsure of what the heck I was doing, I picked up the phone to call lovely woman in New Mexico who had one for sale.  I told her our story, inquired and felt instant rapport.  Yesterday, she emailed me and said,
Hi Kristen:
Just a note to let you know the Airstream is ready to roll. Jerry has gone through everything, making sure all the systems were working. Stove, oven, furnace and hot water heater are great. RV anti freeze has been flushed out. It is a special kind of anti freeze that is not toxic, but I would run water through the system before using it for drinking water. We always kept a jug for drinking water, although that was just me.
Jerry can go over all the systems with you.
I wept in the bank, while getting the cashiers check as I read her last line: 
I’m so excited for you, but know I will cry when it pulls out. There is no better place it could have possibly gone.
Cheers, Valerie
We made the right decision.  The love is palpable.  This trailer, like our house, has a soul.  She knows she is loved.  Her momma will miss her.  We will take care of her.  She will take care of us. 
Having no idea what we are doing next, creating home in our trailer, is a comforting notion.  Once we have a few rains (when when when???), we can park her at the “site” and actually try out living on the forever altered landscape.  We can know, before breaking ground, if we can be happy again there.  Home is on its way to us.  We are using our “fundraiser” to support the purchase so it is even more special – filled with the love of our friends, family and others whom we have never met. 
On Tuesday, I officially went back to work. My first client call in over 2 weeks was held via cellphone in a borrowed car parked at the burned out site after being interviewed on camera on 7News.  I let my clients know that our sessions might be from anywhere: someone elses car, a burned out stump, a camp ground, anywhere my Airstream trailer might be… the world has become my office. 
Last night, I went to TJ Maxx to find some bins in which to store my underwear and socks and it was almost too much to bear.  Having been there the week before the fire, I saw the mirror, the new rug for my entry way and the extra pair of cute orange shoes I had just bought.  All met their fiery fate after being sprung from their purgatory of the shelves.  As I searched for a padded jewelry box to hold my tiny amount of salvaged treasures, I glanced at decorative a box with the inscription, “bless our home” and I thought my grief might take me down right there in the housewares aisle.
Those moments will continue, I know.  They aren’t completely unwelcome.  I know I need them.  After my promised cry yesterday morning on the bosom of the goddess Dusty Meehan (I told her I have officially renamed her that), I felt lighter.  The lightness shifts and changes me, then heaviness sinks back in and I must release the tears or I will go under.  A lump in my throat turns into a tightness in my chest and I am sure it funnels down to my still aching back.  Yesterday, my knees were aching… So, I will cry.  I will slobber and drool on my dear friends chests (thank you in advance).  I will shake and sob.  I will giggle in the mix too.
As the extraordinary Susan Irey and I worked for 6 hours straight just beginning the inventory list, Garth Brooks song, “The Dance” began to play on my I-pad.  Always a favorite, I fumbled desperately to skip hearing those words as the pain felt so intense.
And, if you could see me now, as I am searching for the lyrics to post for you, I am weeping, snot coming out my nose, but unwilling to step away from the keyboard to get a Kleenex.  Why can’t I teach those damn Ridgebacks to fetch?   Well, I guess that’s what sleeves are for… 
Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey who’s to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance
My dear husband, not a fan of Country music, would drop everything and dance with me in our living room upon request.  My requests were mostly to Country, and we would sway or 2-step across the tiny space.  Sometimes, given his mad skills in busting a move, I would just sit back in joy and watch as he got jiggy wit it.  We will continue to dance; we just need a new dance floor.

  • Suzanne Finder
    Posted at 23:06h, 12 April Reply

    Dear Kristen,

    Please keep writing! Your prose is so vital. And such a beautiful expression of who you are. Thank you for chronicling this excruciating personal journey. You are touching people in ways you could not even imagine.

    I’ve been hearing about you through the Rejuv grapevine… my dear friend Gary is in your writing group, and from Missy and of course Sharla, in her recent FB post.

    I don’t know how these things work, but I am seeing you, your husband and your neighbors being shepherded by a loving presence in the chaotic days and months ahead.

    Peace to you, moment by moment.

    Your Rejuv sister,

    • Kristen Moeller
      Posted at 19:27h, 05 May Reply

      I am finally going through old comments and posts. The ash is settling a bit… Thank you for your lovely note and kind words.

  • Terry Sanders
    Posted at 01:34h, 13 April Reply

    Thank you for continuing to share what is so in such a generous and touching way. You are loved.

  • Shaya Mercer
    Posted at 03:59h, 17 April Reply

    So, I’m catching up on my reading… obviously, and loving the thought of you and David dancing the two-step under the starts outside your Airstream. Totally jealous of the airstream, btw. Sounds like you got a good one! Can’t wait to read the next few days… Good stuff Kristen, thank you for sharing. Keep writing and snotting and writing. Who needs to blow their nose, anyway?

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