I’ve received an outpouring of concern and love as a result of this article and just wanted to let everyone know that we are safe and sound. After that article was published, Irma took a turn for the West coast of Florida and we ended up safe but sadly many others have had their homes damaged, have completely lost their homes to flooding or fires, and some have even lost their lives.
Devastating is an understatement for what’s gone on in Florida not to mention Barbuda and the other islands over the past several days. So, yes, this post is to notify everyone that my family and I got incredibly lucky but it’s also to explain that others were not so fortunate. I read a story in a Facebook group dedicated to the hurricane about one woman whose house was flooding rapidly so she broke through a window to get herself and her kids out, swimming them to safety. In that same Facebook group, I read a story and saw photo evidence of a family whose home burned to basically dust after having been hit by lightning – they escaped safely but lost everything. I’ve seen photos and videos of animals left by their owners in a rush to evacuate. And I’ve heard a news story I’m sure many have also heard about multiple people passing away in a nursing home after enduring days without A/C and other provisions.
At times like these with such inexplicably horrible things happening around us, we can feel helpless. I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to help in some way, so for those of you out there that do want to help and put your sadness into action, here are a few links for Irma Relief where you can donate towards efforts to recover this beautiful state and the islands.
Now, as horrible as some things have turned out there have also been stories about people lifting each other up and I want to give a voice to some of those that I personally experienced. For one, the owner of the gym I go to, Coral Reef CrossFit, spent the days before Irma hit donating his time to helping all the members of his gym and beyond make sure their shutters were up and they were Irma-ready. He put others before himself, always asking what else he could do, and worked tirelessly to help. Thank you Jon Galui! My kids’ nanny Toni Weisz selflessly invited all of us into her home – yes, two toddlers and all – for the duration of the hurricane because she and her husband have a generator that allowed them to have A/C and all other luxuries we’re so accustomed to. Our good friends Eric and Claire offered their home up to us after we’d been without A/C for a couple of days, only for our power to come on that evening right before we planned to head over. Anna, a woman I’ve known for literally a week (we didn’t even exchange last names, only phone numbers) invited my family to use their home – they had evacuated – when she found out we didn’t have power. My next door neighbor we’d only exchanged a few words with prior to all this gave us his entire full gas canister, asking for nothing in return, so we could use a generator we managed to snatch up from Sears the day before the hurricane was to arrive. Gas was a scarcity so this was a big gesture. A friend from our gym, Julie, is a local firefighter and she made a special stop at our house the day before the hurricane with her fire truck and crew so we could all take our minds off of everything and simply have fun watching the boys sit in and explore the fire truck.
There were so many small yet huge gestures in the midst of so much uncertainty that I want to acknowledge. And of course, to everyone back home who reached out with such heartfelt messages of support – my family thanks you.