Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sleep and Floods

Sleep evades me tonight like so many nights since TBHITW passed on.

It is hard to believe that a year of "firsts" has come and gone.

I find it difficult to cook. The one thing that has always brought me solace. Peace. And nourishment eludes me.

My tiny town has been devastated by Hurricane Irene. So many people's homes and lives have been forever altered. Yet, I remind myself that it is just stuff. Thankfully no one lost their lives in my community. Yet so many others up and and down the east coast are just beginning the grief journey. A road full of twists and tormented turns that they will have to travel alone. Even with the help of wonderful friends and family they will have to find their own route. Mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, co-workers, grandparents.. so many people touch our lives that it is hard to imagine how many grieve when someone leaves this world.

For every one person gone, a village weeps.

I have forever changed my opinion on death. At one time when I read or heard of someone passing on I would think "poor thing.. so young, or so tragic or too soon". Now - I think of the survivors and what they have to bear. The sadness sometimes threatens to take my breath away.

I spent 36 hours defending my home against Irene. Thirty-six hours of my heart beating out of my chest as the winds and rain battered our home. At one point my youngest son and I  bailed water for 3 hours -from one in the morning until four am. Arms screaming with the exertion. Water coming in through the laundry tubs and sump pump faster than we could bail. I prayed. I bargained. I asked both Jim and God to help me. And my prayers were answered. Unlike 50% of my little town my home suffered just minor damage. A cracked chimney. A downed tree. Some water damage to the ceilings. Others were not so lucky; they had to be evacuated from their homes, walls collapsed as did foundations. Cars were washed away along with precious family memories. But they survived. And I survived, albeit lonely, scared, and wishing every minute TBHITW was here to help us.

Now the clean up begins. Power was finally restored to our town. The community will rebuild, fix, move forward. Like grief, the torrent recedes and everyone moves forward.

Life goes on.

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