Friday, March 17, 2006

What's a Little Water?

Sometimes, when we least expect it, we get our eyes opened for real. Last August, during the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent hurricanes that followed shortly on her tail, I remember feeling so much sympathy for the people whose lives were directly affected by the devastation. I immediately got online and donated what I could through the Network for Good, as well as giving all the clothing, shoes, etc. I could to the Red Cross to be sent to assist in the relief efforts. I hurt for what these people I most likely would never meet were going through, and wanted to do whatever I could to help. I thought I understood.

Yesterday, March 16th, was the birthday of my nephew's girlfriend; a young woman who I already love so much that I am praying daily for my nephew to get smart enough to ask her to marry him before some other brother beats him to the punch. I love to celebrate birthdays and always try to give gifts that really suit the person. In this case, I gave my "niece" what she and I refer to as a little bit of freedom. She was very pleased with her gift, and to follow it up, I took she and my nephew, my son and his friend, and my brother and myself out for dinner to celebrate. We were gone for a total of three hours maximum. When we left, we left my home dry and intact. When we returned, we found this:

(Note the reflection of the room in the carpet!)

and this: oh, and did I mention this:

In less than three hours, a clogged drain resulted in three-fourths of my basement being flooded with about four inches of standing water. A clogged drain...that, had it clogged an hour earlier, would have been noticed and dealt with before the indoor swimming pool that is now my basement developed.

I was beside myself. My first reaction was total disbelief. My second reaction was how could this have happened in such a short period of time? My next reaction was why is this happening to me? I'm a good person. I try to be generous and kind to others, respectful and courteous; I generally follow the golden rule and do unto others as I would have them do unto me. Except I try to do unto others whether or NOT they do unto me the same or as good. So, I ask again, "Why is this happening to me?"

My final reaction: "Sharon! You need to check yourself! This happened to you because shit happens to people and its as simple as that!" I started to think about the arrogance of my attitude that because I'm a "good person" bad things should/would/could never happen to me. What about all of those people to whom Hurricane Katrina happened? Were they not good people? Am I so self-absorbed and egotistical to believe that I deserve better or more than they do? Sometimes, bad things happen. It IS as simple as that! They lost everything and in many cases, irreplaceable persons about whom they cared. In reality, what did I lose?

My basement is flooded. It stinks to hell and back. The plumber was expensive. The clean-up will be even more expensive. Some things will be lost. None of the things that will be lost are irreplaceable, and they are not my loved ones. I have a little water in my basement relative to the water that Hurricane Katrina displaced, and I have the audacity to be "devastated"? NOT!

Until now, just now, I THOUGHT I UNDERSTOOD!

My Apologies.

8 comments:

Safa said...

It does kind of put things in prospective huh? Even still, we've suffered the flooded basement and it isn't fun. I pray you don't lose any too valuable or irreplaceable.

DJ Diva said...

I shuddered when I saw the bookcase...I love books so much...I hate to see that....

I'm so sorry that happened to you..but remembering Katrina...well u hit me with that one. I was devastated by Katrina...I must have lost about 10 lbs during that two weeks...No family down there...but my fellow bloggers and my heart broke to see MY people...

Great and eye-opening post!

TTD said...

great post.. i had my basement flood.. it took weeks to get it back to normal.. but luckily it didnt ruin much.. i look at it as a blessing in disguise.. the laundry room needed to be retiled and the carpet in the basement needed to be replaced due to dirt stains.. although that smell wreaked.. its no longer there! and me and my family are ok!

LadyLee said...

Alright, OG, this is my 3rd time trying to leave a comment, so hopefully it works...

I had a flood at my old place once... I came home and water was pouring from the ceiling... Living room, dining room, kitchen and laundry room completerly soaked... My landlord didn't do much to help the situation, and we ended up living in a moldy and mildewy situation for 2 whole months. (Imagine mildew and mold climbing the wall; mushrooms growing in the hallway- Yikes)... This is probably the reason my cat got sick and died- exsposure to that mess.

But I too thought of the Katrina victims then, and I knew that things could have been much worse...

I moved into a new home, and these people had lost their homes- all they had, their whole lifestyles...

What impresses me about you is that even though you got angry/upset (which is TOTALLY understandable), you were able to put the situation in a proper perspective... Things could have been much worse...

Well, things will be alright, Oldgirl... Wet-vac and dry it out... you may have to replace some carpet and the lining... But at least you have your home, and a few inches of water doesn't compare to several feet... It's gonna be alright!!

chele said...

Yeah it's all about perspective. Maybe it wasn't a devastating occurence but it was still totally jacked up and you should be mad as hell. Don't minimize what happened to you because it wasn't as bad as what happened to someone else. Putting it into perspective helps to keep us from turning into drama queens. It will be alright and one day it will be a funny story to tell around the dinner table. Maybe.

Dee said...

you had as Oprah would say an"AHAA"
moment........its moments like theese that make us realize our blessings

Cyncere_Sister said...

As a native New Orleanian with displaced family...I can feel your pain...at least you still have most of your home in tact. I wish you well.

Sharon said...

Thank you all for the sentiments, and the bottom line is "I'm still standing and this too shall pass!" As a matter of fact it is passing as we speak as I have a crew downstairs right now removing the carpets, sanitizing the rooms and drying and de-humidifying the walls. In a week, it will seem as if nothing ever happened.