One month ago Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Coast. His second and third bands hit Houston hard. The rain came down in sheets early Sunday morning, August 27th. I saw and heard the true meaning of sheets of rain. Five inches per hour for four hours. In total, Houston got over 51 inches of rain! This broke the record for rainfall from a single storm in the US!
People drowned in their cars. There were 70 casualties in all. Water was to the roof in some homes. Thousands of rescues of folks trapped in their homes by boat. There are thousands of stories of Houstonians and others from around the nation who came with their boats to help. They are being called First Responders. We are Houston Strong!
Two dams were at 56 feet of water! The George R Brown, NRG Stadium and the Toyota Center were full of thousands of refugees. 136,000 structures were damaged or destroyed in Houston alone. They are calling Harvey a 1 in 1,000 years flood. I wonder if we will see another.
Willow Bayou, less than a football field from my condo, came across the park, then the parking lot, then my courtyard, then began entering both my front and back doors Sunday morning. At the beginning, I was trying to soak up the water with towels, funny to think about that. Mom was with me, and she helped me. I only got 6 inches in my home, and it receded within 6 hours. So many got much worse. But I heard someone say on the news, it does not matter whether you got 6 or 60 inches.
That Sunday morning before the water hit my home, I prayed to God that if things got bad, to remove my worry. I had heard recently that if you worry, you suffer twice. Pretty good advice. It truly does no good. And God DID remove worry from me. Even when I was walking in ankle-deep water, unplugging the TV, DVR, DVD player and the rest of my electronics - I did not worry. We still had power. And I am so very grateful, that we never lost it.
Like so many, I still look at bare floors and missing sheet rock in my home. Since I live in a condo complex, I had to purchase planks to separate my unit from my neighbors where the sheet rock was. We both have cats! Plus, we needed some privacy. But, I get to live in my home. My upstairs remains untouched, except for all of the STUFF I had to bring up from downstairs.
My heart goes out to all Texans who got flooded. And now, Floridians, Puerto Ricans, and ALL who got flooded from a recent storm. I did my part. I donated to two relief organizations and volunteered my time. I saved hundreds of meaningful flooded photos, mucked out, and helped move. And through it all, I did not worry, and I put on a friendly face. Thanks Higher Power, for answering my prayer.
Do I deserve it? “It” being anything. Whoa. Deserve is such a strong word. I can feel that pit of black in my heart as well as a constriction in my throat just writing that question. My brow furrows and the tears start to sting in the corners of my eyes. The sinus cavities behind my nose start to burn and I know that if I look in the mirror, my nose will have turned a pale pink. A different shade than the rest of my face. Because whatever the “it” is, my immediate answer is “no”.
How? After all the healing that I have done, how could the answer still be no? How was my brain trained so completely that at the age of 50 I still feel so undeserving? I know that there are so many answers to that question: sexual abuse, emotional abuse, lack of parental praise, encouragement and validation.
But, that was all from my childhood and teenage years. And I have been working so hard at recovery and healing to change those brain pathways. For the past four years!
. . . Oh, wait. I know. It was the decades of self-blame and shame that dug at that pathway. Direct offspring from the abuse, but lasting ten times longer. I guess that river must be filled in first, before the path can veer. And that takes time and patience. I will get there. One day at a time. Because deep down, I know that I deserve it ALL.
Nobody promised life would be easy. Grab a cup of coffee, and we'll share the trials, tribulations and triumphs. Life's a little easier when you realize that others have gone before you.