"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Questions

Today I am grateful to be here and now. I am also grateful for equipment parts that do the job they are supposed to do.

I typically have QUESTIONS every day. Questions for my husband or son. Rhetorical questions for our dog Oliver. Questions about the bigger meaning of recovery and life that I only share with myself or those who won't think I am crazy.

Then there are the "What if??" questions that come along in so many ways. We had a big "what if?" in our home Sunday night and yesterday. So big that it makes questions like "What is the meaning of life?" pale in comparison. It is more a question of "What is life?"

Life is precious. Life is fragile. In the scheme of the universe, life is fleeting. All those points came home to us loud and clear in a unique set of circumstances. I was the first to wake up yesterday morning. Nothing unusual about that. What was unusual was how cold it felt in the house. A quick check of thermostats on each level showed temperatures of 58, 59, and 60 degrees. Our heat was not working. We have hot water heat, so that meant that our boiler wasn't working. I didn't smell gas or anything, but I also felt unnerved.
What to do?

It took a few hours for a heating technician to arrive. He was perplexed as well as he pursued potential issues. A sensor that is a safety device on boilers like ours was out and needed to be replaced. What had happened?  He slowly connected the dots, with the help of another technician over the phone. The sensor worked just like it was supposed to, shutting down our boiler to prevent the dangerous build up of gases like carbon monoxide in our house.

Sunday afternoon and evening we had a fire in our fireplace for hours, clothes in the dryer, the heat kicking on and off, four humans and a dog coming and going around the house. A set of circumstances that all came together in a way they hadn't before.There were too many things pulling air and exhaust out of the house. The sensor detected a backdraft of that exhaust of harmful gases and shut down the boiler. If that sensor hadn't been there, or if it hadn't functioned properly, we could have succumbed to CO poisoning.

Would the CO detectors we have around the house have worked? What if? What if?

Some questions are tough to ask, but I am most grateful to be here asking them. Other questions are easier and more inviting. What will I do with my day today? Try to make the most of it, moment by moment.

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