House Sale and Hidden Beauty

I sent an email this week to our friends in Colorado. Not an email I expected to write.

Update from the Fabry family

I want to update all of you on the status of our home. Faced with imminent foreclosure, we elected to sell our home to a qualified remediator and team of investors. The price equaled the balance of our loan, so while we still lose our equity, we protect our credit. The home will be remediated and sold as soon as possible. We signed the papers yesterday, and if all goes well, the emptying of the home will begin this weekend.

Here's how Chris describes this most recent event:

It’s a victory of sorts for us, getting out from under the crushing weight of the house. But it’s also a loss.

This Saturday the dumpsters will arrive and everything we treasured, every Pat Conroy book that had been signed by the author, my daughter’s Taylor guitar, my first guitar I bought in tenth grade, all of our clothes, bedding, keepsakes from 27 years of marriage, Christmas ornaments, baby covers—everything we treasured will go into dumpsters.

If the bank had gotten the home, who knows how well it would have been cleaned. This really is the best scenario, but in a way it feels like getting kicked out of the Garden. I wanted to watch my daughters get married in that house. I wanted to write the Great American Novel there. I wanted to bury our dogs in the back yard.

But the hopes and dreams of ten years are going in the dumpster. The Lord gives and he takes away. Blessed be his name. The Lord drives some into the desert, to a dry and thirsty land. And souls are stirred in arid places.

We left our home 19 months ago. Our two-month “medical vacation” in Arizona has led us down a path far different than we imagined. We have made the difficult decision to begin a new life here in the desert and transfer our permanent residence. We're transferring our thirsty souls as well.

To all of our friends and supporters: I thought we would watch our kids graduate together. I assumed we would share more school plays, grade school concerts, and coffee at Wesley Owens. It’s been tough to process the loss of this dream. Even harder to help our kids do the same.

Chris, the kids, and I all know, however, that the Arizona climate is helping us progress. It's painfully slow, but we’re seeing improvement. Our difficulty lies in the fact that I have a genotype shared by 9% of the population. A type that does not “tag” biotoxins and detoxify them. Without aggressive attention these poisons remain in the body, free to wreak havoc. I carry a double genetic marker, which means each one of my children is destined to have a tough time healing from a toxic exposure.

This hasn't stopped us from trying. The kids' determination and willingness to try new foods and new treatment options amazes me.

I'd love to update you on each one. Instead I'll summarize by saying that while each one has unique physical challenges, each one is blossoming. Whether it's poetry, performing, drawing, music, or writing, their art reminds me of those first crocuses that unexpectedly poke their heads up each winter in Colorado, defying the stormy odds.

As for me, I'm slowly adjusting to this new life of ours. As many of you know, the kitchen was never my favorite place. With great inward kicking and screaming I have learned more about foods and cooking than I ever wanted to learn. I now grind flour, dehydrate almonds, sprout wheat grass, and cook quinoa. My stamina has improved a great deal in the last year to allow for this commitment. I'm still working on the brain rehabilitation.

This is not the life I would have chosen. The desert is not what I would pick. But that’s not what really matters. Only that I embrace what I’ve been given and look for the beauty in it. Hidden beauty. That's what the desert requires. Eyes to see.

That's why I love cactus flowers. Scorching temperatures. Nothing but brown, no green in sight. Thorns protruding and protecting. No hope of anything lovely. And suddenly, there it is. Unexpected beauty.

Photo by Kristen Fabry

Thanks to each one of you for sharing in our journey.


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