When it Rains it Pours

Moving Forward Series

by

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

It’s been two days now since we had to evacuate our home.  Hurricane Harvey has affected Fort Bend to where we are now known as the 800-year flood.

Midnight was when we decided we had to leave.   Our lives are more important.  A wonderful family decided to take us in.

As a disabled person, all I can think of is what’s going to happen?

The first things I grab are my cath kits and medication.  Even then, I know I only have five days of the main medication I need that keep me from having muscle weakness. Paralyzed by the spinal cord injury and symptomatic from myasthenia gravis, my challenges are endless at times, well so it seems.

I moved into my home as a refuge after building it for my children and me.  I got married again, had a baby again.  The kitchen table holds so many memories.  I had to leave all my photo albums behind.  I know it is all stuff, but it is all I have left.  Life has already been cruel enough to me.  I having nothing left if I lose the house.

They say God only gives us what we can handle, but at times, that feels like a cruel joke.

I have my family.

I have been watching the news just like many Houstonians and Sugar Land residents.

I cannot help but feel guilty as I watch TV and see the devastation. Lives are already lost.  People are missing.

I sit here with food, shelter and water to feed not only myself, but also my children.

Last night I slept again, but I could hear myself pray, again.  I keep reciting the Lords prayer over and over, silently.

As soon as this is over, even I, in my wheelchair can help someone, whether to give food, offer room, or just be an ear for those reliving the trauma.

The friend that I am staying with is disabled too.  I watch her parents take care of her around the clock.  It makes me think about all those with a disability that have to leave the safety and sanctity of their homes to go to unknown place wondering who will take care of them and how.  This is trauma all over again.

I have lived the last seventeen years of my life disabled and full of optimism.  This is all about humility and humanity.

The family who have opened their doors to my children, husband, dog and I have scarified everything to help their daughter.

My own family calls me every day from abroad, worrying so much for my safety. They would be here in an instant, but this is one of those rare times where we understand the true impact of Mother Nature at her most volatile.  No one can come in and no one can get out.  Airports are closed. Roads are flooded.  We are stuck.

I can see my friend’s family silently worry too, for their home.  If something happens to them she will have no one.

Can anyone imagine living like that?  Well, most, if not all with a disability can.         Now I sit and wait to hear how much worse it will get. Then we will know if we have a home to go back to.  Yes, home.  It’s been my refuge since my circumstances changed as a result of the spinal cord injury.

Right now this is as much as I can take.  Between the paralysis, Myasthenia Gravis and dealing with the challenges of life, I pray that I am not witness to the 800-year flood devastation.

No more Lord, please no more.

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