I honestly don’t know what I am supposed to feel right now after going through Hurricane Matthew. I just feel pretty numb. I haven’t felt this way since my dad passed away 2.5 years ago. I didn’t lose anybody during the hurricane, but something much bigger than myself happened and I had no way to stop it nor anyway to fix all of the repercussions of it.
I have seen the best of people and the worst of people the last few days in Bulloch County. I have seen strangers going out of their way to help one another. I have seen desperation from people as they try to figure out how to make it through the day. I have seen people become selfish and look out for themselves first. I have seen people take advantage of other people.
Facebook was my constant source of information and my main tool of communication the last few days. There was a lot of posts of concern right after the hurricane hit, but then I noticed that a lot of other people quickly went back to their normal lives. Trump’s comments from more than a decade ago popped up first and began to get more and more mixed in with the important stories from friends, families, our local governments, and other sources that I was trying to keep up with. Soon, sports scores, politics, and other normal things of life began to dwarf the important stuff. It became a struggle to dig through everything trying to find out what was going on in my community.
Then my power came back on and I felt rushed to return to normalcy while knowing others are still struggling around me. I haven’t had time to really digest what happened and yet life was right there in front of me. I felt relieved when I got power back on at my house, but I also felt guilty. I am back at work today, while there are people in the community struggling to find their next meal. I drove by destruction this morning to get here, but I still have bills to pay, a family to feed, and other obligations to meet. How in the world are we to reconcile all of that?
I know that people outside of the hurricane impacted areas were going through the same thing I am now. There is such a push internally and externally just to get things back to normal, even though things are not normal. You know that you are so fortunate and that others are struggling, but the human side of us just wants to press on.
The map below is what my local EMC is still facing as of this afternoon. The hard hats are crews out working, while the others are people without power. I am SO proud of what our people are doing. Our linesmen, law enforcement, EMS workers, fire/rescue staff, first responders, etc. have all gone above and beyond. They are doing what I cannot. I am also thankful for all the regular people who stepped out of their troubles to go to work on Saturday and the days following to serve other people through their jobs. It is also such a blessing to know that people have voluntarily given of their time and resources to help one another when they didn’t have to.
Schools open back up tomorrow, except for Stilson Elementary, in Bulloch County. Children, parents, teachers, administrators, etc. are expected to go back to normal while still trying to figure out what has happened and where to go from here. There will be a lot of mixed emotions, from gratitude to anger, with a lot of confusion mixed into it all.
I really don’t know what to feel about all of it.