05 September 2005

what a week

what a week. that's all i can say. things have changed so so so much, it's still pretty unfathomable to me. the last year has been a journey, i was learning the unimportance of material things, the importance of letting go and moving on and change. Of making the best of the situation, of living for yourself, of not caring what people think, and of following my heart. of Believing in what is right for me and not what people say is right. of just doing what feels right.

this last year has so prepared me for this last week. when i moved out of my house, i left him all of the furniture. i lived there for five months, in my little apartment that i loved so much, with a twin bed, bare windows and floors, and two cushions to sit on in the living room. and i loved the birds outside of the window, the view of the spanish tiled roof next door, the old stairway and double entryway. people either thought i was selfless or stupid for leaving everything, but it was neither. i knew that all that "stuff" wasn't important to me but was very important to him. i tried to do the best for everyone in a situation that wasn't my fault, but wasn't his either. after four months, I bought a little red sofa that i adored. i got my signed poster from tokyo hotel framed, along with my undergraduate degree that i finally finished in may. i hung them up a few weeks ago along with some old pictures of when my grandma and grandpa were young, my sister and i dressed up for mardi gras, and the marker line drawing bell made for me.

I'm digressing. I can barely remember which day it is, much less stick to one thought. So, now i have nothing. I left last Saturday for a one or two day trip to the lake. I packed a few bathing suits, shorts, jeans and t-shirts. I brought essentially nothing. i didn't even drive my own car. and now, that's it. i've been living since the hurricane with my friend's parents, sleeping on their sofa. they have been so wonderfully kind and welcoming, which i knew from the first few times we've met. things are so unimportant. everything's gone, my work, my home, the theater, everything i've ever known.

my family, who are in another state, has lost everything. my father, a kind, strong, brave man, wakes up at night after dreaming of the horror in the hosptial that he barely escaped from. for three days, i waited for his calls, prayed that he would be evacated and come safely home, in the new sense of the word since we are actually homeless. some of his crew left, he said, but he stayed behind because of his "obligation" to the patients. he reached a point where he thought that brave decision might have been the worse mistake of his life. he sounds broken, now when i talk to him, it kills me. he sounds like a zombie... telling the same story over and over. my father who was always the rock of the family, who still has to figure out a life for my mom, sister, brother, niece, has to pull some semblance of a life together while for the first time homeless, jobless, and severely underinsured. for me, it's scary, but liberating, exciting, the start of something new. for him, it's scary and utterly devastating. the uprooting may be worse than the mental trauma.

i've cried so many times over this last week, but not anywhere close to what I would have thought. i've tried to be strong, do what i can, help where i could, and sound ok for the sake of my family. i've felt so helpless, but tried to act so strong. maybe it worked, i don't know. it's so strange to see the place you've lived your entire life completely devastated. it's strange, sad, everything in one. it's heartbreaking. but at the same time, i feel so incredibly lucky that everyone is alive and physically safe, although i am worried--my family was barely making it mentally and emotionally as it were, before natural disasters destroying everything.

bell wants to know where her toys are, where her nana is, when her house can stop "swimming" so she can go home. i never dreamed that i wouldn't see her on her third birthday. it broke my heart. i called to tell her happy birthday; she answered the phone and said i don't want to talk. it broke my heart. they were living in a hotel room. twelve people in one room. the restaurant next door gave them free lunch. they gave bell a cake, and a little party. they gave my mom a walmart certificate to buy her a present. it just breaks my heart. you just never think this will happen.

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