When Hubby and I got married nearly 16 years ago, we didn't have much. For the first few months of our marriage, we lived with his dad in a little house in Kemah, just a stone's throw from Galveston Bay. The house where Hubby grew up. There were three bedrooms - one for us, one for my father-in-law, and one for little Navy Son. There was one bathroom. There was no central a/c or heat - it was winter and we used space heaters and the fireplace to keep warm. We celebrated our first Christmas in that house. We made a lot of memories in that house. When we got our own apartment, then our own house, we still came back to that little house by the bay with our children to visit their grandfather. Six years ago my father-in-law passed away, and tho the house now belongs to Hubby and his brother, their grandmother is living out her years in that little house.
This week we were finally able to drive into Kemah to see the house. It is destroyed. The house is still standing, but during the storm it had over 5 feet of water inside; the furniture is all topsy-turvy, as if someone picked up the house and shook it like a snow globe; there is a stinky layer of sludge all over the floor, and you can barely walk inside without slipping; the smell is awful; almost nothing inside is salvageable. The house will likely have to be leveled.
Scenes like this, and so many more around this area, are heartbreaking. Perhaps Hubby and I take all this a little harder because we were born and raised here in Clear Lake and Galveston County. This area is HOME to us. Restaurants we love, places we used to hang out, landmarks that have always been there - all are ruined. Even tho our house that we now live in is not majorly damaged, the view of our world is. This place has been forever changed.
I can't help but feel guilty that we fared so well (sorry, D...!). Maybe it's Survivor Guilt. I don't know. Nearly one week after Ike blew thru, my life is slowly returning to "normal" - more places have electricity (altho many still do not), more stores and restaurants are beginning to open, I have electricity and cable in my home, and I am comfortable. But when I get in my car and drive - not far at all - the harsh reality that Ike was here hits me in the face. Life will not be "normal" for a while. There's a LOT of mess to be cleaned up. My kids will not get to go back to school until Sept. 29. The face of this entire area has been changed.
I am blessed beyond belief. Yet I find myself asking, "Why me? Why was I spared? Why is my family all OK when so many others are not?" I can feel happy that things are going so well for us - happy that the power came back on, happy that Bubba's Mom and Dad brought us milk when they came home from Dallas today, happy that we have food in our pantry and gas in our cars. And then I feel sad for the loss and devastation all around us. For the pets they are showing on TV that people actually left behind and are now orphaned. For Hubby's grandmother who lost everything she had in one terrible night.
We will recover. This area will come back. Our people - even Granny - will be fine. I know that, and I am praising God over and over that it is true.
So why do I feel so bad?
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