NOTE: For some reason, after uploading this, it suddenly transfer itself to my drafts.
[Featured Image: https://giphy.com/gifs/storm-hurricane-irma-3ov9jZPoFUtKhxVUZO%5D
Okay so let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. This is not by all means a sob story, for me and my family had very little adversity throughout the storms.
So, let me tell you about how my experience. First came Irma, she was a kind but strict lady passing by to ruin a thing or two, like my fridge. Since then, I’ve developed a trauma for the combination of power outages and fridges because my roommate used to buy meat in bulk. Do I need to explain what happens to meat in room temperature for like a month or two? The power was out for like a week, maybe two. This experience led us to believe the next would be more or less the same. Boy, were we wrong…
Two weeks later, right before receiving a homicidal lunatic by the name of Maria, we rescued 3 kittens near my house, hiding within tall grass fields near a huge tree. That very tree was immediately knocked down.
She came and conquered. Maria destroyed almost everything in her path. I say almost because some of us got lucky, whereas others lost their homes, their jobs, even family members. That last thing was the one thing I lost… We were left without communications for a few months, I had contemplated writing letters to my friends but luckily I saw them in person before it came to that. I did, however miss my friends birthday, I made up for it soon after though. My family however was still out of reach. My sister, who lives in Boston, was losing her mind with worry. One day my parents drove all the way from our home in Camuy, to Bayamón seeking for signal. They were able to contact her and through her they found out something went wrong… My mom had been worried sick but on top of that she had a bad feeling in her gut, and she was right to worry. Her grandmother, my great-grandmother from Ponce had suffered heart failure the night the storm struck… We lost her and we weren’t there to support my grandfather who took care of his mother his whole life. We made it to the funeral, my mother and I broke down in tears immediately. I felt such guilt for not being more present in my great-grandmother’s life when she still had it…
That’s what happened after a few months of course, now I’ll talk about during and immediately after. During the entirety of the storm I mostly napped. I live in a house of columns, they’re made to sustain an earthquake but the winds were so strong the whole house swayed and vibrated. It didn’t flood per se, but water got in through some cracks on the walls, the windows and the door. While I slept, my parents and my grandmother were frantic as they took everything they could find to mop up the water, old towels, sheets, curtains, tablecloths, t-shirts, pants, everything. They woke me up in a panic so I could assist with the wringing of the clothes to use again and again.
Disclaimer: This following video is narrated by my mother. Initially in Spanglish, later on, full Spanish.
The video begins with a view of the backyard through my room, she then walks out to show the mess that became of my sister’s room which my grandmother slept in. Later, we see my father laying in bed and then a full view of the kitchen, dining room and living room floors all covered in cloth of any kind.
The days that followed consisted of a lot of sleeping, coloring books, reading and word search puzzles. I probably got through 7 books, 2 coloring books and 4 puzzle books… I played card games as well from time to time. My grandmother had the radio turned on the entire time, I found it very annoying but hey, it’s informative and quite helpful during a time of crisis, which this definitely was.