It’s not unusual for me to take a break from this space in August but this break has been longer and more difficult than usual. Most of the difficulties have to do with Hurricane Irma – which we evacuated from. It’s heartbreaking to see all the damage the storm has done to Florida and the islands south of us. My neighbors were flooded, there are trees down and damage everywhere you look but Jacksonville is slowly putting itself back together.
We fled north west to stay in a hotel, out of harms way – we thought – but the storm tracked more west which meant so did we…frightened for our loved ones that decided to stay – wondering how far we’d have to go to get away from this giant hurricane (how many days could we afford to stay at the hotel?), hoping we’d not run out of gas or break down or get in an accident and essentially stranded in the storm’s immediate path. I’m still not sleeping very much, even though I’m back safe and dry in my own place, in my own bed. I’m thankful for the support system I have here in Florida and for my Mom and Sister who talked to me about evacuation, even offered to come and get me themselves…and for the kindness of a friend’s uncle willing to shelter us – including my furry children; we were actually told “no” by another family member…if you can believe it. I would NEVER refuse shelter to someone fleeing from a natural disaster.
“You can evacuate from the single largest hurricane in the history of ever to our house but you can’t bring your children.” See how stupid that sounds?
Since returning from evacuation I’ve been dealing with my usual stress-related inflammation and fatigue – emotional and physical. Yesterday I learned a former co-worker/friend committed suicide. A wonderful, caring, loving person is gone and I’m gutted, I cry then I go numb then I cry again; wondering how this year has gone so, so wrong. Yet, still, I refuse to lose hope – I’m going to eat, sleep, work and get up and do it all over again until the darkness lifts or the light finds me. It’s all we can do when life stop making sense.
Be extra kind to people in your life – even strangers. I’ve made that my new daily goals. We could all use more love right now, so be THAT person. Okay? ♡
September is National Suicide Prevention month.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255
The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Crisis Text Line Text 741-741
If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
image ©Aimee McEwen