Broken can be beautiful

My washing machine is still broken.

The repairman, whose daughter was ill, graciously sent a worker in his place to evaluate the status of our machine. Fortunately, the problem was what she considered a “fairly easy,” fix…easy in the sense that she could diagnose the problem, but troublesome in the sense that there would be an added delay. The part that is currently affecting the washer and causing it not to work has to be factory ordered, and it could take a maximum of a week and a half to arrive, which would mean that I would be without a working appliance until the end of the month.

The end. Of the month.

Do you recall in my previous post, when I mentioned that I was not by nature a particularly patient person? When I heard the news that my overflowing laundry basket of dirty clothes that has not been laundered since the day the washer broke, and could not be laundered for another 2 weeks (4 weeks total..eww), I could have easily become angry. Luckily the boys and I have large wardrobes, but when those essential items start to dwindle, I could either wash them by hand, or go to a laundromat. There are some things that just cannot wait.

My mother offered her washing machine without hesitation, and for her I am immensely grateful. You see, in spite of being my mother, she is also my best friend and my biggest advocate. Last year, when I became ill, irritated and confused as I attended a mounting pile of appointments with no clear diagnosis or relief in sight, she was by my side, always trying to cheer me up. When I tried to fight to remain employed as I became increasingly more sick, she was my biggest supporter, reminding me every day that I was strong, and I could surely handle whatever I was dealt. She has always helped me to handle every transition in my life, from minor to large, and when I recently made the change from working mother to stay at home mom, she was supportive. However, this caused us to not see each other as often. When I was working, she kindly offered her heart and her home to my boys, caring for them so that I could work full time. With myself at home, there was no longer a need for outside child care, and unfortunately, we’ve seen her less. The ability to be able to spend time with her, while at the same time cleaning our clothes, was actually a hidden blessing.

As we sorted piles, moved clothing from the washing machine to the dryer, and folded the clothes, we were able to spend a full day together, spending quality time and catching up on each other’s lives. Even if I do not see her every day, I still make it a point to send a daily text or make a phone call to keep in touch. However, time spent in person is some times more valuable and much more needed than these others methods of communication allow.

While helping her to clean, offering my help around her house as she was able to offer her assistance to us, I also began to think of how much like that broken washing machine I am. Last year, when I was ill, irritable, and devoid of answers, I felt such intense anger in my heart at the circumstances before me. No one wanted to deal with a broken thing. They would rather have something easier to manage, the more convenient route to take. When things are broken, they not only affect themselves, but those around them.  I, like my currently broken washing machine, was affecting my family. I was unhappy, and my family bore the brunt of it.

My washing machine still has several more days before it will be fixed, but in the mean time, I am thankful. I am thankful for the kindness of my mother, who in our time of need, extended herself so that we could be taken washing

care of. I am also thankful for my broken washing machine.

The washing machine is not only teaching me to be patient. It is also teaching me that while it is so easy to look upon something that is broken with frustration or annoyance, it is also equally easy to understand that broken things take time to repair. They are not fixed overnight.

I am working on myself, to wash away the anger and resentment I once felt. Much like the loads of laundry that await a fixed machine, I am working every day to make myself a new article in a messy world.

After all, broken can be beautiful too.

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