After taking our unplanned road trip to Georgia, we got to experience some of Irma for ourselves. Since the kids won’t be going back to school until Monday, I decided to wait out some of the chaos of worrying about gas stations having electricity and/or gas at all. I also would let all those desperate to get home to have the road. I really didn’t want to be on the road with so many people who were so exhausted and in fear of what they would find on the other end of their drives. I know it was hard enough keeping my focus as I left Florida.
Many of my friends went home to be stuck without A/C in 90°F weather, no gas, and limited food and water. Many wishing they would have stayed up this way a little longer. Lots of my Naples friends are without cell service, so I sit and wait for limited communications through Facebook and other sources. I see pictures upon pictures of damage and devastation to areas I’ve grown up. Though most of my friends and family were lucky during the storm, their battle with Irma is still not over and won’t be for a long time to come. Her damage was extensive and many areas outside of what we see on the news were affected. Truthfully, how do we even begin to cover it all?
As I sit here, I wonder about going home. There is now a rising river that may cause problems on my journey. UGH!!!!! Seriously, I thought it would be good to let some time pass before going back, and now it might come with a price. I’m once again faced with: Do I go now? Do I wait? I’m sitting in utter disbelief of all the problems Irma is causing. Deaths are not over; now we have heat exhaustion and issues with carbon monoxide poisoning from generators getting us. Some of my single mom friends are struggling to get food because it is cash only, and they don’t have any cash. Tears are filling my eyes as the words come out.
I’m very guilty of sitting on the outside, thinking that once a storm is over it’s done. Without having people on the inside it can be difficult to see how hard it really is in the aftermath of it all. I’ve been through many hurricanes, but not one that has caused this much widespread damage. I can’t stop thinking about all the areas that are being hit by natural disasters now. All the fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding are consuming my mind of how they affect each individual person having to go through them or have family and friends going through them. The thoughts and feelings are overwhelming.
To love is to recognize yourself in another.
– Eckhart Tolle
I will keep my heart in a loving place. I will keep praying for all those who are suffering. I will continue to love openly. I know that my love is more important than my pain. I won’t try to hide from my feelings and pretend they are not there. I’m proud to feel all the feelings that are going through me. I don’t want to be numb for this. I need to be able to show up for my family, friends, strangers, and myself in the most loving way possible. This is how I will get through.
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2017