The wind howled and the trees shook. Leaves fell everywhere. The lights in the house flickered so often, and the streetlight right outside our window kept turning off. Doors and windows kept blowing open and slamming shut.
Beside me, my son started at every sound. “What’s that?” and “Where is that coming from?” When he finally fell asleep, he kept moving, turning.
It was almost 1:00 in the morning when the power finally went out. I huddled under my blanket, worried my son would wake. He woke at least two times, crying in the dark and reaching for me. He pillowed his head on my arm, falling asleep quickly enough, rolling off my hand as he dozed, waking again and crying for me. “Come on, Mommy’s here, don’t worry,” I told him.
Despite the cold wind outside, it soon grew warm in our room. I could feel my son’s sticky skin, my clothes sticking to my limbs. I kicked off my blanket and peeled off my pajamas, and changed into fresh clothes. It must have been past 3:00 when Oneal finished work and crawled into bed, and only then did I finally fall into a heavy, dreamless sleep.
I can’t remember what time I woke, only that I had snoozed several alarms and that I was supposed to take medicine. I felt heavy and tired, and the house, bereft of the lights and sounds of TV and Internet and work, felt oddly quiet. Outside the rain still fell in torrents.
Today the rains were quieter, though the day was no less cold and grey. Eventually we got the power back, but there was constant anxiety that it would cut out again at any time. With the electricity and the Internet access came the doom-scrolling, the worry over friends and relatives whose homes were submerged in floodwaters, who were trapped by flooded streets, who had no way of getting food or water or rescue.
As I write, I think of the families already in evacuation centers, still reeling from the previous storms of the past two weeks. I think about our little house and thank the stars that we are safe and dry, and all we had to worry about was wind and rain. I think about friends and relatives whose homes are only a few kilometers away, and who are not as fortunate.
As I write, I can only be thankful it was not worse for us. All I can do is watch the news and relay the information to those who are in a better position to do something.