Day 8: Muffins and Bananas

My friend Adele got the call last Tuesday morning at 3am that her sister Meg and brother-in-law Steve were at Von’s grocery store parking lot and needed a pick-up. She came and got them, having no idea what was going on but understanding, “Come pick us up” at 3am doesn’t warrant questions, just action. She got in her car and went.

She found them covered in mud up to their chins. Hard mud, like clay, and shivering. She lead them to the car, grabbed jackets from her trunk, wrapped them in them, put them in the car, and drove them home.

They got in the door. She ran to the linen closet and got A LOT of towels. Brought the towels downstairs.

“Ok strip,” she told them. And they did. And they dumped their muddy nightgown and pajamas in a pile. “Now go upstairs and get in the shower. Get warm. Get clean.”

She brought them clean sweatpants and sweatshirts to put on after the shower. Her husband is about the same size as Steve. She put out muffins and bananas. Made coffee.

When they came downstairs Adele gave them muffins and said, “So you’ll stay with us now for as long as you need.” And she meant it.

Then they ate, then they went upstairs and they slept. The next day they went to Marshall’s. I think tomorrow is the DMV. They’ve lost all their stuff, but they have each other, their family, their lives. Their neighbors are dead.

Meg and Steve are gonna keep going and Adele is grateful to be able to help. She has a guest room, and muffins, and can just be there, not asking lots of questions, not rushing them to a plan or action or grief or whatever.

She knows how to let them be in whatever stage they are in. And they are taking it, that kind of non-needy love that can just sit in the face of all this and stay with it, which is great.

Yesterday we went to the all-school picnic. I learned that except for Pasta all Ax’s classmates are ok, everyone had a place to sleep with heat last night.

A few families from the class still need longer-term solutions than guest rooms and hotel rooms. The official word is much of the water/gas/power/access compromise will go on indefinitely. As will the highway closure.

Several local schools are also still closed and looking for new space. But Ax’s school re-opens today, with porta-potties, hand sanitizer, and bottled water. It’s time to pack Ax’s lunch and get dressed. I’m gonna keep going.

Who is your Adele? Who is your Meg and Steve? Let them know.