Janelle's Blog

Ceiling on the Floor, Ceiling on the Floor–Lookin’ Like a Fool With My Ceiling on the Floor

A shriek and loud thud came from my attic. I had been in the garage puttering around while my handyman was changing the filter on my AC/Heater. I scrambled up the ladder that hung from the attic door opening in the ceiling. My eyes darted in the direction of the AC/Heating Unit which was obscured by mounds of insulation.

“Are you hurt?” I yelled out.

“No, I slid on the insulation and fell backward. I’m OK, but I broke a board.”

I thought, If he is OK, we can get that fixed later.

“There’s kind of a hole up here,” he said timidly.

How bad could it be? I thought. He didn’t fall through. He fell backwards on the boards.

It Was Bad to the Bones

With one step inside the house, my mouth fell open to see a gaping hole in my family room ceiling. The ceiling was on the floor, along with a mountain of insulation. My husband, Neal, was minutes away from assuming his position on the sofa to rest while nursing a broken leg. Now insulation was slung over half the sofa.

“Don’t come in here,” I called out to Neal. “Our ceiling is all over the floor.”

This could have been the last straw. Neal had broken his leg the week before Christmas. Surgery was delayed three weeks due to the holidays. During the waiting time, Dallas had several freezing days of snow and ice—something this part of the country is not prepared to deal with. In the midst of this, our AC/Heating system that was installed less than a year ago, quit working. Parts could not be retrieved until after the first of the year.

What’s Your Ceiling on Stress?

Back to the ceiling sprawled over the floor, I wondered if I had the inner strength to take on one more thing. Don’t we always think we have gone our limit? I decided that the only way to deal with the stress was to take a deep breath and methodically start scooping piles of insulation into garbage bags. I closed my mind to the hardship of the situation and immediately started working toward finding a solution.

When you are in the beginning, middle, or end of trying to get through breast cancer, sometimes the ceiling falls in. About the best you can do is try to salvage the good stuff and shovel out the rest. Here is what is so great. Once you calm yourself, you realize you really can get through a tough situation. Then, on the other side of it, you can look back and say, “Wow, I am so much stronger than I thought.”

Life goes on, heat goes out, ceilings fall in, but you can remain steady in the midst of the pile of ruins in your life. Remember, your life is you, not what happens to you.

At the end of the day, my ceiling was repaired, Neal was sipping hot chocolate on the sofa with his broken leg propped up, and I had finished the last round of vacuuming by 9:30 p.m. All in a day’s work!

Thought for Today:

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” –St. Francis of Assisi

Live Life,


Reader's Comments

3 Responses to Ceiling on the Floor, Ceiling on the Floor–Lookin’ Like a Fool With My Ceiling on the Floor
  1. Michael
    May 4, 2010 | 2:29 am

    Lady; You are amazing…!!!
    You are an Inspiration,
    You have moved me so, with your story; Thank You!
    I wish you all that you wish yourself;

    God Bless You & Yours Forever.

  2. Cancer Support Community
    May 12, 2010 | 10:34 am

    Great story Janelle! Overcoming the emotional challenges that accompany a breast cancer diagnosis isn’t easy. Help future breast cancer patients tackle the disease by joining a national movement of breast cancer survivors. To learn more and join go to http://www.breastcancerregistry.org.

  3. Helena
    June 9, 2010 | 10:30 am

    Thank you for your stories. I am facing surgery for breast ca and so scared, just trying to calm and center myself. It is like a roller coaster ride without the thrills.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://janellehail.wpengine.com/2010/02/ceiling-on-the-floor-ceiling-on-the-floor-lookin%e2%80%99-like-a-fool-with-my-ceiling-on-the-floor/trackback/