I took another trip to Nebraska this past weekend, my third trip in five months. I'm not sure I have been there this frequently since I left in 1996. On this trip, we took some first steps in getting started with my mom's house...our childhood home.
Do you remember the rainbow I saw during my last trip to Nebraska and how ended right on our childhood home? Well, this instantly reminded me of God's goodness to me in the moments of that trip and the promise of His faithfulness to me throughout this whole process. It was just what my heart needed and I'm so thankful for His grace in that moment.
So the house...years ago, right out of college, I saw a counselor and a big part of what I struggled through in those sessions was the house. I left my mom's house when I was fifteen and with the exception on one visit just few months after I left, I had not been back. So, at the recommendation of my counselor, I went back into the house and took two friends. For me, one of the many struggles in growing up in a hoarder's home was shame. We knew that our house was not like other people's houses and we knew that we could not let people see into the house, let alone come into the house. So I never had a friend over. Not once. My brother snuck a few people in one time but I remember feeling like he was breaking the law. Anyhow, later I would take Brandon in during our dating years. And then, I think I previously mentioned that I recently took two other friends in when they were in Nebraska for Mom's funeral. So those are the five people in my life that have been in the house.
However, as hard as was to take those people in (although it did get easier each time) all five of those people are from my life after I moved out. None of them knew me or my family when I lived in the house. So this trip was significant in that we took my mom's siblings and my dad and sister into the house. To some extent they all knew about mom's hoarding and in their own ways, tried to help. But none of them knew the exact conditions inside the house. As you might imagine, taking them in was emotional for a variety of reasons. Perhaps one day I'll go into greater detail, but for now I'll just leave it at that.
The most unexpected part of the trip that really was great for me, was getting to spend two days in the house with Geoff. I had not been in the house more than about 30 minutes when I took others in and Geoff and I had not been there together in over 15 years...maybe even closer to 20 years. It was surprisingly healing to be there for hours and hours with one of the people that experienced it all with me. He remembered certain things that I had forgotten and vice versa. It brought back a lot of memories and while we still have a long way to go on the house, all in all, it lost some of the power it seemed to have over me and my mind and emotions, at least for the time being.
Sunday was my last full day in town and I intended to go to church. I got up early (thanks to a not-sleeping-well, teething baby) and I went for a run. And I figured that earned me a pumpkin spice donut from Lamar's located conveniently along my route at the entrance to my dad's neighborhood.
And then as I made my way back to my dad's house, I walked into the driveway to discover this:
I've been driving my mom's car on my Nebraska visits and the driver side window had been broken. They went though a few things in the car, but thankfully, nothing was taken. I'm pretty sure they thought the stack of AT&T long distance cards (from like 1995) were credit cards or gift cards. But not only was it Sunday, so no one would come fix it, but the following day was Labor Day. Kind of a bummer way to end the trip. I had to leave Geoff to have the window fixed and hopefully, it will be ready to go for my next visit.