Heads High, Hopes Higher

Once upon a June 25th, a charming young woman hauled her world-traveled backpack out of her friends house and into the pick up truck waiting outside. The young woman’s sister and brother in law also threw luggage into the truck. Having been evacuees during the Calgary Floods of 2013, they were tired, stressed, and just wanting to go home. So they did. The warning to stay out hadn’t been lifted; however, the young woman and her sister knew they could survive without power for a night. It was supposed to turn on in the morning anyway!
After a day at work, the girls snuck up 19 flights of stairs and into the sister’s apartment. Staying quiet they hung out, ate food from the pantry, and joked about the police chasing them out. Finally, near 10 o’clock at night, the sister went down the 19 flights if stairs to open the door for her fiancé. They were seen and told to get out for real and to empty the fridge or security would do it the next day. Power might be restored by July 4th or 5th.
Upstairs in the apartment, the young woman was in pajamas and readying for bed when her sister came through the door saying “we have to leave.” And holding back tears. The young woman could only imagine how stressed out her sister could be. She was used to this backpacking lifestyle, changing a room every few nights. But her sister was being kicked out of her own home. As the brother in law went to call hotels, the young woman followed her sister into the bedroom where she began throwing random clothes into a suitcase.
“Do you want a hug?” The young woman asked.
“I am so tired and I just wanted to sleep in my own bed and I hate that this is happening!” Her sister cried and shook her head.
After a moment the young woman asked again softly “Would you punch me if I hugged you?” Her sister just shook her head and accepted the hug. It was like many of the few they had shared but this one reminded the young woman of being 6 years old and hugging her sister for a picture or something for the grandparents. When enough strength to get forward had been shared the sister set to packing with the young woman calmly asking and reminding about the necessities and maybes.
Things were packed, the fridge was emptied, and a hotel room was waiting for the weary traveller and evacuees. The ride to the hotel was a quiet one, but not awkward. Arriving to the hotel room, the young woman expected her sister to burst into tears, but instead of asking “would you like a Kleenex?” She asked “would you like a massage?”
A tired nod from her sister made her hope she was actually helping. The sister requested a temple massage and so the young woman, who had only ever been praised for back massages, attempted to skillfully grope her sisters face. She knew laughter wouldn’t be appreciated at that time, so she kept it inside and hoped again that she was actually helping.
About 15 minutes later, tomorrow’s plans had been somewhat figured out, the next place to stay had been secured, and the three of them were ready to fall asleep. Work began early and alarms were set for 6:30.
The sister and brother in law fell asleep, probably stressing about where they would live and what would happen. The young woman with the world traveled backpack lay awake and wondered why being home was more of an adventure than a foreign country was. And then she passed out with only 5 and a half hours of sleep ahead of her. If she was lucky.

~~~ We are all alive and okay if not a teeny bit stressed out with good reason. I know it will all work out how it’s supposed to. Keep your prayers up for these evacuees though. Where my sister lives isn’t flooded but the power is underground. Under three feet of water. And they aren’t allowed to live in their building until everything is cleared and power is back on.
So it would seem that once again life is not giving me what I expected.
Stay dry world! All my love, Sarah.


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