Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Night, Irene...

As Hurricane Irene barreled her way to my beloved home of eastern North Carolina, I sat far enough away to never personally be at risk. But my heart was at risk, the risk of losing so many I hold dear. I can take you all up and down the coast of North Carolina and name family and friends. I can name slightly further inland counties like Halifax, Pitt, Bertie (pronounced Ber-TEE, please), Lenoir, and on and on with family and friends who live there. I spent Saturday calling, texting, and messaging trying to track down ones I love and see if they were still safe, did they have damage, how much...all the stuff you do when you can only be there in heart.

On Tuesday as I write this her death toll stands at 47, and each and every life lost is a sadness for all of us. Yet the insensitivity strikes me. I've heard comments such as, "Well, that was a big bunch of nothing." My personal favorite was, "It's only a category one now. That means it's just a rainstorm." One politician even had the gall to say that Irene and the earthquake were meant to be a wake up call to Washington by God. Idiotic, methinks - the politician, not God.

If you lost a loved one, if you lost your home, if you are now realizing that the insurance you never got because you were told you were not in a flood zone, is the only insurance that would have covered you, then this is catastrophic.

Some will step forward now and offer their homes and help. Some have already done this. Others of us will offer what we can in donations. Some have already traveled to hard hit areas to volunteer or repair. Often we all are given an opportunity to show our best and so many of us will. But to the ones who show their ignorance or insensitivity, all I can say is, "Bless your heart, you need to hush your mouth now." And to the politician who thinks the devastation of my beloved home state and to Vermont and every area hit by the hurricane or earthquake was a wake up call to politicians, well now she claims it was a joke. Honey, if you have to explain the joke, that's a true sign that it wasn't funny.

Our love, thoughts, and prayers are with every one who has been affected by Hurricane Irene and the earthquake. We are with you in your time of devastation.


  1. Well written, Evelyn. A man that works with Stephen (lives in Chapel Hill) knew of Stephen's concerns Friday about possible damage. They were talking yesterday and the man said "yeaaa so that (using his hands and fingers for the quote marks) "big, bad hurricane" ended up being nothing. Stephen said "Follow me", took him to his office, opened his laptop and showed him some of the 350+ pictures taken of the personal destruction we felt. The man was in awe and of course repeatedly apologized. My hope is that he went home and had his family sit with him to watch the news and see the devastation in NC and up the Northeast and then they had a talk about never trivalizing an event simply because you had no experience or personal investment in it. The photos of NY and VT were heartwrenching and certainly those people didn't carry flood insurance.

  2. Local chapters of the Red Cross have schedules and lists of what is needed to assist in these areas. You can also check with the mayors and town leaders to see what can be done to help out those who were hard hit all up and down the eastern seaboard from North Carolina up to Vermont. My mothers home town of Manville, NJ was under water Saturday and Sunday. Roads that I traveled on in January were deeper in water than I am tall. Businesses have been, if not completely lost, will be months in restoring. On our own coast of NC homes, streets, businesses and the most precious of all, lives, have been lost. "Little storm," I don't think so. You're right Evelyn. Bless their hearts. Bev, I'm so sorry for the destruction that Irene caused you and your family, but thankful your husband didn't remain silent and instead gave someone food for thought.


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