Storms are Coming

Storms are coming.

I can feel it in my bones
the way only a person who has
lived through epic storms can.

The storms we have weathered have names,
just like the hurricanes,
though not in alphabetical order:

Diagnosis.
Bone Marrow Transplant.
Graft vs. Host Disease.
Tongue Cancer.
Cataracts.
Bladder Cancer.
Hip Replacement.
Skin Cancer x 100.
That thing that happened in July that we still can’t describe.
The week in March where everything fell apart and we thought we were losing him and no one had any answers.


SO MANY STORMS
that only the worst remain at the top of our memories,
others evidenced only by
damage to our infrastructure
and historical documentation
in the tome that is
the medical chart.

When you have weathered storms like I have,
you can sense when the air is changing.
Like a grandmother in the bayou who starts filling jugs of water and dragging out pieces of lumber to cover the windows,
even as others skeptically half listen to vague predictions from the weather forecaster,
I know what’s headed our way.

Therefore,
I am preparing.

My preparations include:
resting as much as I can, while I can,
completing work projects ahead of schedule,
carefully tailoring the calendar ahead so that there won’t be too much to cancel or rearrange,
doing things now like letting our daughter have a buddy over, or meeting up with friends for lunch,
things that may not be an option
in the eye
or the aftermath
of the storm.

We have weathered and come through to the other side of many many storms.
The difference this time?
Forecast calls for
multiple storms
headed our way
simultaneously.

In a tornado, you get to the lowest point and cover your head.
In an earthquake, a door frame.
A fire, evacuate.
A hurricane, cover the windows.

But what if they are all barreling towards you at once?
Which advice do you take?
How do you survive?
Is there a magical life vest we can don that will get us through it all?
A flashlight or a battery-powered radio that will help?

We have survived
storm after storm,
but never have I looked at the sky and sensed the arrival of
so many storms
at once,
weather patterns swirling and churning,
lighting up the weather map in a rainbow of flashing colors
coming from each direction.

I hope my bones are wrong.
I hope the skies will be clear,
the sun will continue to shine,
and no emergency measures will be needed.

And.

I know that it only takes one storm to wipe out a town.
Our current ten-day forecast calls for five.

What are the odds that
all five will
change course,
lose intensity,
miss us all together?

I think it’s time to fill my water jugs.

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