Monday, November 10, 2008

Hurricane Katrina - Our Story - Part 3

Sept. 4th, 2005
Our 6th anniversary, and we are on an airplane flying from Virginia Beach to Dallas. On the way to the airport I saw signs all over Virginia about benefit concerts for Katrina victims and such. I saw people out collecting money at stop lights. Already I thought? Gosh, it just happened 5 days ago . . . I was impressed and touched.

I don't even recall the flight at all. I do recall getting off the airplane in Dallas and walking practically all the way to baggage and realizing my husband does not have our video camera on his shoulder. I ask him where it is and I see him freeze, think and then his face turned red as he shouted out some obscenity. "I left it in the overhead bin on the airplane!" He ran over to the counter of the airline we just flew on and asked the lady behind the counter to phone the plane and ask them to look for it. She explained that the plane had already been reloaded and we would be lucky if it had not already taken off again. I burst into tears and walked away thinking we don't know what we lost at home and now we may have lost one of the few possessions we had left. It was expensive and fairly new. It contained videos of our daughter from vacaton. I headed for the baggage area and spotted my father in-law. He approached me and saw me crying. Not being the affectionate type he felt obligated to hug me and tell me everything would be ok. He thought I was upset about our house. I told him that no, in fact, I was crying because we may have now lost our video camera and I couldn't take anymore stress!

After much persistance on my husband's part the camera was recovered. (A airline attendant got lazy and wouldn't look. Mgmt finally boarded the aircraft and found it right where we left it.)

We arrived at my in-laws and my husband immediately took off with my FIL to rent a u-haul and buy supplies to return to our house the next morning. He loaded it with a generator, wood, food, water, gas, chainsaw, tarps, and a gun for protection as our neighbors were telling us they all were using self protection and guarding our neighborhood from looters.

They left the next morning. They were able to get to our house because only residents were allowed to return and they finally cleared the debris from our road so they could actually get to the house. It was a sad site. So bad in fact, they spent the night, took some stuff from the house and returned on Sunday. There was nothing they could do. The trees and cleanup required heavy machinery.

In the meantime, my daughter who was potty trained for #1 (tee-tee) shortly before going to VA Beach and completed potty training for #2 (BM) while in VA Beach got potty trained for night time sleeping by default. I was so distraught and out of it with things rushing around in my brain I forgot for 3 nights in a row to put a pullup on her at night. Finally, my mother in law inquired why I wasn't doing it. I laughed and simply said, "I forgot." She was dry each morning when she woke up so I never put one on her after that. There is my secret to how my daughter stopped wearing pull ups at night! Ta Da!

On Sunday, when hubby returned we got in a very emotional argument. I was mad at him for everything. He brought all my old, crappy, painting, yardwork clothes, and nothing I usually wear? He grabbed a pile of clothes from the back of our closet and none of the hanging clothes which is what I wear. Though, he brought all his hanging clothes including suits for work! He also brought my bike and rollar blades, but none of the pictures and photo albums I requested. He thought I might want to get some exercise while there! Geez. Amazing how differently men and women think.

I was also angry at him for buying all the supplies, renting u-haul and going all that way to turnaround and come right back. I thought he should have stayed and did something with our house. Like hire someone to remove the trees, get the electric hooked back up, etc. He said there was just nothing he could do. They were wanting $5000 to remove the trees. Who has that type of cash to spend when you don't even know what is ahead and how much money you will need to live away for an undetermined amount of time.

We were arguing quietly outside at his parents pool. I sat out there alone and cried and he kept coming out to talk to me. When I eventually went inside my FIL said that there would be no crying or fighting in his house. I literally exploded. I never had words with my FIL before. I went off. I used some harsh words. I got in his face. It was ugly. So ugly my husband had to step in and stop me. I remember thinking how could one not cry or fight with their spouse at a time of such stress. I do remember telling him that was fine with me. I would pack my stuff and fly to my parents and they would let me cry all I wanted. That is when Hubby stepped in. He knew I would do it and was not kidding! He begged me not to do it as I started to pack my suitcase.

Finally, my FIL came up to me, hugged me and told me not to go. He said he loved me as much as he loved his sons and that he wanted us to stay at his house.

This was just the beginning of a long journey of arguments, tense moments, tears, and testing of family ties.

Continue to Part 4

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