And the rain came, and then there was comfort.
We lived on the bottom floor of a three story house on a big hill overlooking Placentia Bay. Our kitchen and living room for the first ten years of my life were in the basement. We always had a tenant on the third floor apartment.
When it rained hard I would wake up and see my mother on her hands and knees with a mop, towels and bucket, soaking up the water. I would stand at the top of the stairs and look down at her, feeling a sense of sorrow for her and what she had to do for the leaky basement.
Sometimes I would grab some towels and soak up the water in a bucket and we would just wait for the rain to stop. I think of this now as it has rained hard this week. Water is flooding the ditches all around me in the present. Yet my mind goes back to my mother looking up the stairs at me. Diminished somehow. Defeated. It was raining, and she could not fill that crack in the wall. She could only deal with what was coming at her.
The water flowed down the hill behind us, for though we were on a hill, there were bigger hills behind and beyond us, and there was only one way for the water to flow. Heavy rain still makes me uneasy. I carry this with me.
Once when driving my daughter home from soccer with a three hour drive in front of us the rain started to pour hard on the windshield in a downpour. Cars were pulling over on the side of the road. We could not see. When I pulled over I began to cry. More waterworks. My daughter was fifteen and did not understand then, though she would now. Her comment, "It's only rain, Mom" sort of brought me back to my senses. I was the mother, I needed to be sure and confident. I needed to deal with things even when I felt I could not. How do you drive when you cannot see. You wait with the others on the side of the road, and you try to exude the confidence you do not have. You mop up the basement. You are the mother.
By the time I was twelve my mother and father moved to the top two floors of our house and my mother no longer had to mop up the water. Sometimes I'd still go down in the basement and look at the water in the corner after a rainfall and remember. I'd remember how my mother took care of things, and I'd be happy that things were better now.
All in all, I don't know why I am telling you this story today. I think it's because I know you have your stories too. That you carry things with you all your life too. That you'll understand.
Sometimes the rains come, sometimes they recede. It is only rain after all. It is not actually everything you carry with you about the rain. It is I say again, only rain, as if to reassure myself, and I remember I had a mother who took care of things and taught me to be a mother who took care of things, and I am comforted by this.
For the rain can bring comfort too.
Thank you for reading. Hook when ever you can, it is there waiting for you, Deanne
- Deanne Fitzpatrick