The car was packed. We were ready to make the drive from Virginia to Florida.
In the car were boxes of supplies to make centerpieces for my friend’s wedding. Dad’s suitcase – he was coming down to celebrate his 91st birthday. Our halloween decorations, because we had started a little competition with the neighbors and we were determined to out decorate them this year. A tub full of nicknacks that were to help me feel at home in my future home.
The wind blew and the tides rose and it was all swept and blown away. All the hopes and dreams for so many. Our future retirement home, tattered and torn, but still standing we are luckier than so many. Heartbroken and defeated. We haven’t found our determination to rebuild our future.
It will take a lot of time and effort for our community to move forward. The infrastructure is gone. Water, sewer, electric, cell towers. All the many things that make a community run.
In the photo above, that’s the bridge that we cross to go into our little community on Pine Island. Matlacha is the village that I fell in love with and where I planned to grow old selling my art and Charles was going to take up fishing. It is an artist colony and a fishing community. All the business were small, family owned, not corporations.
I think in the past when I have seen natural disasters on TV I felt heartbreak and sadness but a certain disconnect. Now that this has happened to my home, my people, my community. I am completely overcome by trauma and grief, that I find hard to wrap my head around. I also have a feeling of guilt, for being numb to past disasters. I’m angry at myself for not being able to fully embrace gratitude for what we still have.
I would like to do something, to help and therefore I have chosen to donate to directrelief.org.
For the month of October, I will donate 50% of my proceeds from all sales of my artwork and jewelry, in my Etsy shop and locally at Sweet Art Emporium in Palmyra, to directrelief.org. This is a way for me to make a contribution, and for others to purchase my artwork for a cause. It is just a small effort, but I feel like it is the right thing for me to do.
I hope that you are safe and with your loved ones.