Four years ago our home was a beautiful place in a beautiful town.
Today is a wet mess in need of a new roof and some new walls.
Our town is much, much worse off.
My friend asked me to write an essay for his book detailing how I am handling the stress. I've written thousands of words and it always comes back to one simple sentence: I am faking it.
Not in a fake it til you make it sort of way. No. I am faking it because the alternative is to crumble.
Sometimes I crumble anyway.
And I find myself angry a lot more. Contractors, the city, insurance agencies... sometimes it feels like they're all conspiring to make recovery as difficult as possible. I may know better logically, but when you are taking three steps back for every step forward logic seems like a fickle bitch.
Although, between you and me, the city is being a bit of a twat. They sent out letters, with no documented proof, stating that our home was more than 50% damaged by the hurricane (it wasn't) and now I have to jump through hoops to disprove what they - wait for it - haven't actually sent proof of.
Don't pity me. I knew going into this that there was going to be fights. I may have been naive in expecting the city to be more of an ally than adversary, but here we are.
Like everyday over the last couple of months I will dust myself off, remember that I am a badass, and start over.
When it happens - and it will - that it all starts to feel a bit too much, I will lean into my wife, squeeze my dog, scream a few expletives, cry, and then get on with it.
Four years ago today we closed on our dream home.
Nothing is going to steal that away from us.
Have a day.