In typical Gulf South fashion, a summer tropical storm is heading our way. It may strengthen and dump feet of rain or it may not; that is just the way of things. After 30 years living here, I’m well aware of the fickle nature of tropical storms. Before the flood I used to enjoy storm season. I would turn downright giddy when an area of low pressure presented in the gulf. After our house flooded 3 years ago, however, things will never be the same. Now I know what can happen and, more, I know it can happen again.
My leg begins to shake any moment I sit down; I have a constant newsreel playing in my head going over all the hurricane preparedness PSAs I’ve heard over the years. I wandered around Target in a thick fog trying to find water and bread. I got sand bags and I’ve put files in order with our insurance policy information and shot records for the dogs. I’m doing all the laundry and getting the van topped off with gas. My photos are in plastic containers; my phone is charged. Focusing on what I can control keeps my mind busy pushing away the nagging anxiety that is lurking underneath.
Will it always be like this? If it’s not this storm, it could always be the next one. Will it get better as more summers pass? Or will the trauma (mild by comparison to others, I admit) of having our home destroyed always show its head every June 1?
This post doesn’t have much of a purpose other than to simply identify the feelings I’m having and maybe give voice to others who are feeling the same way. If you think of us, say a prayer please, for safety, yes, but mostly peace of mind. The kids are already driving me crazy with questions about the storm: “when will it start to rain?” “is it a hurricane yet?”. I need to remember that they too have flooded and have their own anxieties surrounding storms. I need to calm myself so I can be calm for them.