Everyone has their daily routine, including me. I get up early to go to work. I take great pride in getting my work done right and on time. I value my time with my family and enjoy my garage time every day. I had my dogs who would be close by and would take one of them on a drive with me or take them on a walk in the neighborhood. I could count on meals when I was hungry and knew where I was going to sleep that night.
The early morning hours of 27 August, our daily routine would change, in fact it would be destroyed as we knew it. We had minutes to escape the rising flood waters that took almost everything we owned. I don’t write this to gain sympathy but only to put down into words what we experienced so that what we saw and felt will not be lost to time. This is the only time in my life when I experienced truly being in ‘survival mode’. I always thought I would be prepared and in some ways I was. When we left our house in the 14 foot aluminum john boat we got out with the clothes on our back, most of our pets and a few things we could grab in that short time. It was at this moment I knew I had lost control of my everyday life. We were at the mercy of neighbors reaching out to help. Once we got to the house where we took shelter, I went back out with my neighbor in our john boat to help other neighbors escape their houses. I helped for a while but my age got the best of me and the younger guys went on to help while I went to be with my family. Later, I recall sitting alone and I started to pray, not to ask God ‘why me?’, but ‘thanks for getting us out to safety’.
I no longer had a daily routine. I had lost control over what I could do, and where I could stay each night. I had little say over much of anything in my life at this point but had to rely totally on my Faith in God and the helping hand of my fellow man. We lost most everything, a pet, cars, clothes and lots of family history in furniture and pictures. We still have our memories so maybe putting things in writing will help preserve the memories. I will strive to do that. Looking back over the last few weeks, we were provided for before we even knew what the need was. My Faith in God and man grew stronger each day. Over those few weeks, we stayed at five different places all of which we were invited, we did not have to go looking for them. When our time was up at each place, another invite to stay was right there. Hopefully our next move will be back to our own home. Our house still has a long ways to go but we will be back in the next week or so before it is completed.
Maybe a ‘Loss of Control’ is good from time to time; it makes us rely on our Faith and our friends, even those we have not yet met.