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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Monday, June 28, 2010
I took my son, Colin, on a trip west to California. This was his 10th birthday trip, something Andrea and I have done for each child—a time away alone to bond and talk and just have fun. His birthday was in December and that it took me six months to make this trip is a testament to life and all the stuff that’s happened in the past few weeks.

Colin wanted to go to some “theme park,” and there are many in California. But after looking at some of the options and knowing how much Colin likes movies, we opted for a Universal trip. I had a lot of angst about buying the “front of the line” ticket or the cheaper one. We opted for a multiple day pass and a “back of the line” ticket. We took the guided tour twice. We rode the Jurassic Park ride at least three times. That was our favorite. We also saw the trained animal show twice and the jokes were just as funny the second time around.

While we stood in line, I couldn’t help but think of what we saw on the tour. I had plenty of time to think. There was the set for Psycho that was still there, right next to the set of the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was all Styrofoam and candy canes. We saw the lake and beach houses of Jaws. It was all so tiny, but it looked so big onscreen.

When we drove through the towns that had been constructed to show the Old West or some European burg, it struck me again. The front brickwork and the details on everything from Spartacus to Desperate Housewives looked great. Manicured lawns. An ideal setting.

However, for much of these sets, the front of the homes/stores were the only things that looked real. Everything behind them was plywood. In fact, the exploratory vehicle in one of the Jurassic Park movies wasn’t metal, it was made of wood and painted to look like metal.

When we attended a special effects presentation with fake blood, greenscreen technology, and camera tricks, the curtain was pulled back even further. What seems to be real, is just an illusion. What looks lifelike, is fake.

At one point in the presentation, a few statues were pushed forward and a member of the audience was given a chance to have her picture made beside Frankenstein and Bigfoot and Dracula. Just as the person taking the picture clicked the shutter, the statue sitting in a rocking chair bolted up and scared the living peanuts out of the poor woman. I knew one of them would come to life, but I wasn’t sure which one.

In Hollywood, dead things come back to bite you and the shiniest things that seem real are really not. There is no life in them. The window panes are candy glass and the chairs are made of balsa wood. Punches thrown never connect, but they sound like they do. Even beauty is air-brushed.

Don’t get me wrong. I had as much fun as my son did. Probably more. But what I enjoyed wasn’t the façade. It was true and good and right and pure. The smile of someone who loves me. A hug and a race up the escalators and almond butter on gluten-free tortillas.

We drove to the beach Saturday evening then looked for a hotel to end our stay. We drove east and thought we’d found one, but they had shampooed the carpets recently or used some strong cleaning agents and it only took 5 minutes in the room to let us know we couldn’t stay there. The outside of the hotel was beautiful. The pool was nice and clear. The room was tastefully decorated. But it wasn’t safe for us. It wasn’t home.

I’ve spent some of my life chasing façades, buying into the nice exterior. The older I get, the more I long for what’s real.


Anonymous said...

"I’ve spent some of my life chasing façades, buying into the nice exterior. The older I get, the more I long for what’s real."
So many of us that have dealt with adversities have here and now feel the exact way. You have a wonderful way with words. Thank you for your writing and thank God for refining us in the fire!