Every day I wander.
I try to be grateful and positive and optimistic. I try.
Trying is not good enough, I have known my whole life. My person, who I am, doesn’t try. I do. I accomplish.
I tell myself it wasn’t a big deal. I mean, no one died. Or is even in poor health. It was only some water in your house, Robin. Get over it and move on and move on fast.
But I can’t right now. I am tired and sad and frustrated and angry and not happy and sad and sad. Not because my house was flooded following the dam releases from Hurricane Harvey’s impact in Houston. But because I am in purgatory. And I don’t even know where God is in this. I am embarrassed to say that as a Christian person but I just don’t know. No movement. No moving forward. Two steps forward then four steps back. There is only Before Flood and After Flood right now.
I am a progressive; personally, professionally and politically. And this traumatic event is forcing me to pause. And pause I can’t bear.
Over the weekend of August 25th, 2017, we watched while Hurricane Harvey rolled over South Texas bracing ourselves for the impact of the ‘dirty’ side of the hurricane. Rockport, Texas suffered the direct impact of the storm but Houston, Texas metro area (almost 6.5 million people) were expected to get a ‘rain event.’ We are used to rain in humid, coastal Houston and it’s not a deal, at all. It rains on a regular basis and doesn’t slow anyone down. So as we watched South Texas get the worst of the hurricane, we all marked ourselves safe on Facebook and pulled out our rain boots, jackets and umbrellas without changing any of our weekend plans. Overnight, it rained and then it rained hard and then it rained harder and next thing you know a boat pulled up and docked in front of my house. It happened that fast.
First, we evacuated our kids and then within 30 minutes time evacuated ourselves by amazing neighbors with an airboat. By the way, there was one inch of water in our kitchen when we evacuated. Our thought before we left the house was ‘let’s turn off the electricity and gas, put some important papers on the counter…and I guess that kitchen floor will have to be replaced. We will come back later once the water recedes on the street. Three days later my husband and his friends were pulling back up to our house in a duck boat and discovered over 4 feet of water in our house and across half of our neighborhood… and all those important items floating across our house and yard, everything gone. Surreal, shocking, devastating. Our house, neighborhood, and area of town has never flooded. Certainly, some houses are lower than others and have had an inch or two when a hurricane came through but nothing like this…we are in a 1,000-year floodplain. I grew up in Nottingham Forest, a sweet, loving and connected community in the Memorial West/Energy Corridor area of Houston. People take care of each other, always have, not relying on outside help. My parents bought their house in 1974…they have never flooded and never lost power. This disaster brought the community together even more but we all dealt with it differently. Some spurring into action, some frozen in shock and despair, some pretending it was no big deal, some, having been through other disasters like Katrina, leading us through the logistical and financial decisions to be made.
We are rebuilding now. Some folks, older folks, have decided to leave and sell their homes to young families hoping to move into our neighborhood to take advantage of all the community has to offer. Every single family and person is managing differently. Friends are in apartments and with family (we are staying with my parents for now) and in hotels and scattered across the city taking things one day at a time. While I know there is progress being made, I am fighting a battle of how fast. I want to go home, I want what I want. And as I am in the middle of this journey, I know I can’t always have what I want right. this. minute.
So, I wait and reflect and hope. I hope that there is a plan and a purpose for this pause. And I suppose I will find that is where God is… in the pause.