Never in my life was I so Anxious, even after losing my mom. Hurricane Florence hit our hometown in September and stuck around for three days. It was a Cat 4 before making landfall as a Cat 1. For all you non weather geeks, the Category of a hurricane goes off of how strong the winds were. Cat 1 is 74-99 mph sustained winds. (we had a gust of 104mph and also 24in of rain) My family and I evacuated to NJ with family. We left not knowing what we were going to come back to. Although it was a scary nervous time for us, we had neighbors who stayed and looked after our house.
The next morning we had gotten pictures of the siding that had came off the house from the wind. I kinda had a feeling that this was going to happen since the side of the house that it was on had nothing to block the wind. It was an open area without any trees and an easement where the rain water runs through from the street. We felt hopeless watching On tv from so far that our city was in a 3 day boxing match with Mother Nature. Later that night we had received more pictures of the house and rain water started to seep in behind the wood, from where the siding had came off. It was coming in from behind the wall through the window and electrical outlet-and into the living room. Luckily the morning we left I had a gut feeling that I should move all our furniture to the second floor and into the opposite rooms.
So, not knowing what was going to happen my anxiety got the best of me. I was a like a little baby and became selfish and wanted to be by myself. Not realizing that I had my wife and kids that needed me. It’s scary to think how much anxiety can affect ones being, and make them turn against others in the snap of a finger. I was so mad that I hurt the people that I love feelings, on top of dealing with Hurricane Flo! It wasn’t fair for me to be like that and I let all those feelings of old come back in.
My neighbor that stayed behind with her family was like an angel from god. She sprung into action. She took our garbage can, she took the storage bins we had the kids clothes in, and towels and placed them where the water was coming in the house to catch it. She was sending us pictures and we were like WOW! I still get goose bumps thinking about all she did for us. If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t have been able to stay in the house! The next morning when there was light she snapped a picture to show us that our ceiling in our living room had fallen. This was where the majority of the water came in. (Thank god this guy moved the furniture upstairs :)). Later that day our other neighbor next door to us had sent me a picture of them on a latter putting a huge tarp on the side of the house, to cover where the siding came off. That wasn’t a cheap tarp and plus it was a decent size area. Now I’m thinking to myself, How do we repay them?
The storm finally started pulling away and my house was secure from anymore water coming in. We get another picture of the living clean as a whistle. My Godsend of a neighbor cleaned up the ceiling that fell, she emptied the water out of the bins (probably about 6ins) , she cleaned and folded all the towels she used. Both of my neighbors actually picked up ALL the siding that came off the house and put in in the driveway. The days after the storm seems more hectic. We needed to make calls and figure out how we can get back home from NJ. A lot of roads were flooded and all the rivers were cresting. We decided to leave 2 days after the storm stopped. We needed to get back to normalcy, and I needed to get back to work. A normal trip home from where we were would have taken 9hrs straight. We got home in about 16hrs in two days!
Finally! We made it. Once we got home we were greeted by our neighbors. There were plenty of hugs to go around. It was great to be home and see our house. We got inside and saw first hand how clean it was (kudos to my better half for cleaning the entire house before left) on top of my neighbor cleaning up the mess. Here we are today, still waiting for things to be fixed. There is still plenty of debris in piles along the road, and still chainsaws cutting trees up. It may sound a little strange, but not only can you grieve a lost loved one or an animal. You can also grieve lost possessions ie a house/or even damage to a house that you are still able to live in, just like we are. At the end of the day you have to lean on each other to make it through. We all learn from our mistakes and if there is a next time (which I don’t) I ll be better at dealing with my anxiety so it doesn’t get the best of me. Thank you all for your support #goodgrieving