Bathsheeba’s Child

Moving reveals how blessed you are in friends. It is such a dirty, horrendous job that when someone joins you in it, you know just how loved you are.

Thursday was moving day. Paul’s brother and sister, Dave and Anne, Bud, baby Bo, Jason, Robin, and Lake showed up to help us. I discovered that moving is like building in that you always underestimate what is left to be done and overestimate what has been done. I thought we’d finish by Thursday evening. Thursday evening arrived and we had a long way to go. Friends and family slowly peeled off toward home. Paul and I continued working until 2 a.m. when we had to concede we needed some sleep. But the moving truck was due at 8:30 a.m. the next morning.  We slept for a few hours and awoke early to continue. Another load was dumped off and we returned the truck. Then, we had to use our own vehicles to finish. We were trying to get signed off early because Elsa arrives on Sunday from Italy and we didn’t want to travel all the way back on Monday after getting her. And we both had to be present when the real estate agent arrived. We were able to push everything out of the house and off the porch to get signed off.

When it was time to say goodbye to the house, I was so harried and hurried and exhausted that I barely looked around at it. There was no slowly going over it, running my hands over things lovingly made, or any lingering of any kind. It was just goodbye and that was that. Perhaps it was best.

I took the fish to Jason’s and Robin’s house and returned the satellite dish to the company. Paul and Anne continued working on the stuff left in the front yard. There was a lot of extra building material around which we offered to Habitat for Humanity.

As the locksmith arrived to re-key the house, Paul and I pulled out from the driveway– he was pulling the tent trailer and I was driving the packed van.

I don’t believe either of us looked back.

I followed Paul to the storage shed. We unloaded the last bit and shut and locked the doors. It was 7:30 p.m. We decided to stay the night at Jason’s and Robin’s because we were too tired to drive.

The whole week Paul had wanted to float the river. I kept pushing to stay until the work was done. When we woke up on Saturday morning, Paul mentioned the river again and I agreed. We’d spend some time with Dave and the nieces before going to my parents. I really wanted to see our girls and I was expecting to leave in the morning, but sometimes it’s important to rest a little after a horrendous job. Floating the Deschutes was delicious, soaking in the sun, getting just wet enough to keep cool, and chatting with the others.

At first, I felt relief. It was finally over. All of the fear and worry was through. I remembered that Bible story about King David when Bathsheeba’s child was sick. David had committed adultery with her and then had her husband murdered when she was pregnant. He got caught, repented, and tried to move on. But consequences still come, regardless of repentance. David married Bathsheeba and the baby was born, but sickly. He felt awful about it and wouldn’t eat, praying for the baby to live. When the baby died, everyone was afraid to tell David because he had been so distraught. But when he found out, he got up, washed and ate. This surprised everyone. He replied that while there was still a chance of persuading God to let the baby live, he prayed and fasted. But when the decision was made, David accepted it.

I feel the same way. I wanted to do everything possible to save the house. People may call me silly, idealistic, even blindly stupid for this next confession, but I really had a hope that a miracle of some kind would happen – a rescue would occur. I thought if we went to court, there might be a chance of the case being dismissed and we’d get another shot at a modification. Something might happen.

Part of what made the losing of it so hard was that the hope lasted so long and was so persistent.

So I struggled through to the end.

And now that the house is really gone, I feel it’s time to get up, wash, and eat. Move on.

When I returned from Costa Rica when I was a college student, I got really sick. I think I was sick for about week and it didn’t matter that the sun was out or that people called or didn’t call or anything. There was only the bed and the dark and the tender creeping across the floor to the bathroom.

A day arrived when I woke up and I was glad the sun was shining. When I got up, though my legs were shaky, I wanted some breakfast. After breakfast, I thought that I might have strength enough to stand in the shower. I wasn’t ready to run a race, laugh too hard or talk too much, but I’d like to watch someone run or hear someone laugh or listen to people talk. To sum up, I felt like participating in the world again. Gingerly. Tentatively.

That’s exactly how I feel now. Like emerging from a tunnel, blinking in the light. Thankful for the sun, but waiting until it’s no longer blinding me.  I feel fragile. Unlikely to laugh, quick to cry, and tender. My personality feels skinned up and everything smarts.  But I’m ready to join in, get out, to experience.

That child of a house has died, tragically. And though I wanted it to live so very badly, I couldn’t do anything about it. The time has come to get up, quit begging and pleading and hoping, bury the dead, and go on.


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