Learning to Thaw Five Years After a Polar Vortex Blew into My Life

Anniversaries remind us of where we have come from and where we are headed.

Five years ago, I was recovering from a polar vortex which had pushed it’s cold breath into my family’s landscape. As many hid within the warm confines of a home, we felt the cold air penetrate our walls. The icicles appeared as frozen fingers clutching our family with its sting.

Five years ago, illness and death attempted to paralyze us. We became accustomed to confronting the exhausting days of mental illness. It has woven itself into the identity of our family. But this time, we encountered something new, My teen son became suddenly ill. Moments turned into days turned into weeks. More of the story can be found here: https://stephaniejthompson.com/2017/01/31/httpstephaniejthompson-com20170131how-i-found-peace-living-in-the-not-yet/ In the midst dealing with his duel health struggles, deaths of loved ones released punches to the gut.

Wrestling with grief

Unexpectedly a family friend, young and healthy, passed away in her sleep from a heart attack. The reality of traveling lightly on this earth smacked our souls.

My husband’s beloved grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Our 97 year old matriarch whose resilience to previous injuries and illness made us believe she would always rally, actually passed from this life. Her impact on our lives and others around her left a festering wound.

His aunt, with whom we were very close, died from a stroke. As we grieved once again, my younger son recognized the ways funeral had become a part of our rhythm. One more good-bye. Could we sustain one more fierce blow?

Apparently so.

One day, my husband announced that his job might be eliminated in a corporate buy out. After a week sitting in the frozen tundra, we received an answer. As it turned out, he remained employed but his company family no longer resembled what he had known.

Learning how to respond to a Polar Vortex

Five years later the polar vortex blew in again. However, this time, we found ourselves on the other side of the last one. We experienced some small stings of the weather that surrounded our landscape and our lives. But this time, we knew that we pushed through the last ones. We recognized the need to not face this chill alone. We need the warmth from huddling with others in prayer and accepting their help to keep walking toward spring. Toward a season of new life.

We are still thawing out. The brain and body don’t easily forget the sting of frostbite. A bit of fear at the thought of experiencing it again remains. Truthfully, a bit of the sting of the warming period permeates my body. My senses are heightened at the sound of an ambulance, when my son is out of my sight, and at the presence of a symptom in one of children which appears to indicate a recurrence of the previous affliction.

But I can’t live in fear. So I remember that summer arrived this year as it did five years ago and the three others in between. I soak in the sun during this season of rebirth. I find comfort knowing that regardless of the season, I am held and loved by God who sees me. (Genesis 16:13).

4 thoughts on “Learning to Thaw Five Years After a Polar Vortex Blew into My Life

  1. Tara

    So much this: “We need the warmth from huddling with others in prayer and accepting their help to keep walking toward spring.” This is a beautiful post my friend. I’m in the 33 spot this week.

    Reply
  2. Cindy

    It’s always hard for me to understand why bad things seem to pile up until we feel bound in, unable to dig our way out. What an encouragement you have given in the reminder that we don’t have to do it on our own; that it’s ok to ask for help. Powerful post Stephanie!

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