I’ve finally caught up with my days. This entire week seemed to have been one long ass day or one very long weekend that kept replaying itself — both the good and the bad parts. My sleep pattern is all out of whack. My appetite comes and goes. My stomach is upset & won’t let me hold much down. I miss being with my family. And we all miss being home.
If you’ve been following the news in regards to Louisiana, you’ll know that the rivers that flow through East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes like Livingston & Ascension, took on too much water from the rain and resulted in flash flooding. This event has been declared one of the worst disasters since Super Storm Sandy and almost a week passed before outside media sources began to report on it.
Our home flooded and took in 5′ of water. As a result, 90% of what we own had to be thrown out. Futhermore, the walls had to be torn out and cleaned. My home is completely gutted. No floors, except for the tile & slate, and no walls — just stud framing. The cleanup was therapeutic in a sense: getting all of the damaged things out of the house and cleaning up. But it was therapeutic only until our pile of belongings had become a 2′ accrual of almost every single thing that we owned.
All of that can be replaced. You & your family survived, you all have your lives, and that’s what matters most."
I know that we’ve lost a lot of things that can be replaced. Collectively, the survivors of the flood know this. But also somewhere underneath and amongst all of the rubbish is our independence, our memories – our homemade cards from our children, or that door frame that was used to measure their heights. We’ve lost that door that made a specific sound where you knew someone was sneaking into the kitchen.
We’ve lost things that made our places home. We’ve had to tear down the walls that were just thin enough to hear our kids snore or turn over in their beds. We’ve had to rip and demolish rooms that we’ve painted and decorated — carefully picking out colors and furniture with our children to match their little personalities that seemed to have changed overnight.
Underneath all of the rubbish is a myriad of books that we’ve gotten lost in for whatever reason. Literature that has helped us get through difficult times. Knowledge soaking wet and destroyed.
It’s ultrasound pictures that you run quickly to save before they are completely destroyed. It’s your kitchen that you’ve made meals for your family to enjoy, even when the days were long and you decided to cook breakfast but your kids enjoyed it anyway.
We completely understand that these things may or can be replaced, but we’ve lost so much more. We’ve lost our peace. We’ve lost our sense of normalcy.
Our sense of normalcy is out on the curb. Our habitat that we consider our safe haven, our protection from the world, is out there being tampered with and rummaged through by vultures who want to take your things to bring to the scrap yard for a quick buck. (Which is invading in itself!) But for most of us, if not all of us, it’s our entire lives.
Our. Entire. Lives.
So let us mourn. Let us mourn our life that we’ve had to carry out to the curb for disposal companies to take away. That life that took all of the strength we had left in our souls to tear down the walls of our spaces that we’ve made unique to our liking, so that we can rebuild if we can. Let us mourn the years that we’ve put in so many hours, working so many jobs, just to buy this house and more importantly, make it home for our families.
Those who don’t know how to suffer are the worst off. There are times when the only correct thing we can do is to bear out troubles until a better day.” — Ming-Dao Deng
Let us mourn and cry and scream about what we lost.
Because what we lost was more than just things.