Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or are still deeply entrenched in widow’s fog – in which case I completely understand), you’ve likely seen the reports of Hurricane Irma and the devastation she has already left behind and is still causing in the Caribbean as of this posting.
This whole “Irmageddon” thing is making all of us in the state of Florida say “Irmagerrrrrd” as we rush to stock up on supplies and make last minute preparations. The majority of us not directly on a coast who have been through this drill before are taking it all seriously while still choosing to ride out the storm. [Note: I am not making light of the severity of this storm, but still choose to find humor where I can. I laugh so I don’t cry…]
I say “us”, yet I’m having serious Mommy guilt for leaving my grown children behind while I head to my home state for a long-planned visit. It may seem that I’m abandoning them – and this is the way I feel myself – but the kids assure me that they will stay safe and do what needs to be done (including evacuating, if they feel it’s best) without me here. As I said, we’ve been through this before.
Not only will this be the first major hurricane since A died. Last year’s Matthew was nothing more than a rainy day when we all ate far too much. We didn’t even lose power during that storm.
We’re thankfully in the center of the state and, as of this writing, not in an evacuation zone. But that could change in an instant, so the kids are currently weighing their options. The biggest issues they currently face are:
- When to leave, if they’re going to do so. Leave too early, you sit in traffic wasting gas and spending hours on the highway. Leave too late and you run the risk of not being able to find any gas along the route (there have been severe gas shortages and long lines at the pumps), or worse, running into high winds and flooded roads.
- Where to go. The current track of this storm has it essentially going right up the center of the state before going into Georgia and the Carolinas. But if it shifts a bit further west, it could potentially head into the Florida Panhandle or Louisiana.
- What to do about their pets. Between them, my kids have two cats and a small dog. They obviously can’t just leave their pets behind, but if my kids decide to flee with them, options for a safe place to ride out the storm become more limited.
- How to ride out the storm as safely as possible if they choose to stay. Obviously, their safety is top priority. Belongings can be replaced, but the kids need to be safe.
I’m trying to help them make this decision as best I can, while still being sensitive to the fact that they are the ones who will be here facing Irma. They are all adults and I’m confident they can make the best decision with the information they have, but I still feel guilty that they have to make that decision “on their own”.
Irma will be a test of not only my children’s decision-making skills and general fortitude, but also their ability to be holed up together for an unknown period of time without bloodshed.
Keep us (them) in your prayers as they ride out this storm.
© 2017 Many Faces of Cheri G All Rights Reserved