The Meeting With Hurricane Harvey We Didn’t Want to Have

The beginning of “Uncertainty”.

In a word, Mother Nature is: “Unpredictable”. She can wreak havoc and at the same time also teach you about resolve and even go as far as to restore your faith in humanity. In the last week, Hurricane Harvey has brought a keen awareness of feelings to my life. As I waited to see where and when the Brazos River would crest, I started “thinking”. Thinking about the roller coaster of emotions and feelings I’ve just been on. In the last week, I have had so many different emotions, I have been bombarded with feelings of all kinds as I try to make sense of it all. This is what I realized:

Denial. Plain and simple. When I heard the storm was approaching, I just knew it wouldn’t hit us. It was going somewhere else, far away and you wouldn’t have convinced me otherwise. I was in complete denial.
Second, I felt pretty Confident if it did hit us, I had been through several storms in my life, I’d handle it with ease.  Besides, this wasn’t my first rodeo and I knew what to do. I believed I was in total control.
Then the Uncertainty started to creep in. Is it really going to be that bad? It sure was starting to look like we were going to get our fair share of rain and heavy winds. Never mind the fact that this storm was going like 2 mph and sucking the ocean up in its path then dumping it on land as it turned up the coast. If you know Houston, you know that the bayous can only take so much run off then everything becomes below sea level. What should I do now? I didn’t feel so sure and confident all of a sudden. Do I go to my daughter’s, leave town or stay at home? I decided to stay.
Then I felt what I can only describe as “Relief” after the first night of wind and rain. It seemed that the worst was over but I knew better, it was merely the calm before the storm.
I was worried-Would the storm really be that bad? Which, in turn, made me feel pretty Indecisive. Those who know me, know that I have no problem making a decision and following through, but this was different. Here, we had a mandatory evacuation order issued, which didn’t really matter, because I was the one who would decide if I should stay or go. My daughter’s house was in a voluntary evacuation area, so I could go there, or they could come to my house because I had a two-story home.
I would have these bursts of PANIC.  Watching the news was frightening. But, there was no time to waste, I chose to stay, so I started to prepare by moving things upstairs. I was on a mission, rushing around from one thing to another, moving it to higher ground. I also found out that I was in pretty good shape!
One of the feelings I felt was massive amounts of Gratitude for my neighbors checking on me and in turn, I invited everyone who was scared and wanted to be up higher to come on over in case of a flood. I really got to know my neighbors well and found out that they are all truly wonderful people.
Now I can’t say that there weren’t moments of abject Fear. For example What if a two-story house still wasn’t high enough? How will I protect my daughter and grandkids? At that point I realized, I can’t. We’d have to rely on rescue and the grace of God at that point. It wasn’t a good feeling or thought to have. It was painful to think about, though it had to be done. Then it start’s to set in. The Sorrow– that unbearable gut-wrenching feeling as your heart drops into your throat as you watch the rescue efforts and hear about of the losses. Then Sorrow and Sympathy lead to feeling Guilty that you are still OK while others literally face death and unimaginable loss. Even worse, there is absolutely nothing you can do but hope and pray.
I learned more about Compassion in the past 6 days than I have the past 6 years.  Texans stood with Texans, doing everything they could for their neighbors…even if they lived hundreds of miles away. Then help started pouring in from everywhere, all over the United States. It was incredible. I felt an immense amount of pride knowing that Texans, and others, were so quick to help total strangers by putting themselves in harm’s way to do so. If only the rest of the world would take a few notes from Texas on how to treat one another, maybe we’d be live in a much more hospitable world.
And this brings me to “HOPE” – As we came through the storm, I never lost sight of my hope and faith in God and actually reaffirmed my hope and faith in man.
As I reflect on my personal meeting with Hurricane Harvey, I quickly realize that I am one of the luckiest people I know. I thank God for my blessings, for being here today, for having the opportunity to share all these feelings and for you for taking the time to read them. I am thankful for the many people in my life who care and support me and my family. I am blessed to have a wonderful family and a wonderful PPL family, to be RV Nana, to have friends here for me, to live in this great state, in this great country and to have the good health and good fortune to live my life and make memories. I hope for the same blessings for every Houstonian alike.

Save

Save

Save

Save

22 thoughts on “The Meeting With Hurricane Harvey We Didn’t Want to Have”

  • Is there any way you could help or find my friends help? Look on Gene Lancaster’s fb page. His wife, my friend Jamie has MS and has to have another surgery on 18th. They live behind Deerbrook mall. Their house got 14 feet of water. Gene is an Humble police officer. His phone number is (713)822-2130 He needs a travel trailer to park in his driveway so he can do his job, take. Are of his wife and oversee the repairs on his house. FEMA turned his request down. Thank you!

  • Awesome story Diana. Thank you for sharing your emotional story with us all out here in RV land. What a reminder that God is good and to Him be the praise.

  • So inspiring, thank you for sharing

  • Great summary of what you & family have gone through!

    We are praying fervently for you & Houston

    Buzz & Linda Roman

  • Diane, I understand the feelings process you went through. Although I was home in California, I was going through the same feelings for my managers and guests in our Texas RV Parks. What a roller coaster!! Thank you for putting your feelings in words, which helped me to understand the roller coaster I have been going through these last 2 weeks. God Bless you!! Susie

  • What a testimony. This has made my day, your words and I received a Thank You note from a RV service shop I had never used but when I made my appointment for some minor repairs, I informed them I needed service at once as I had booked an appointment with PPL to sell my coach on September 6. I cancelled the appointment with Krystal and will reschedule in October.

  • I’m sorry in TX & Fla for hurricanes and coming another hurricane closer to FLA – again. Please help those people & businesses right now, Lord and we pray w/all of us. Amen… amen…

  • Hi Diana,

    I’m so glad you, your family and our PPL family are ok. Thankfully everyone I know was ok as well. My prayers are with everyone in Texas. I’m also praying for my daughter Brittany who is in West Palm beach and all of Florida who are facing another terrible storm. I think of y’all often and have fond memories of my time working for such a great company. Stay well.

    Julie

  • What a terrific story well told. Thanks for sharing the insights you’ve gained in the past week. So glad you and so many others are safe.

  • So do We get a discount?

  • Great article and wonderfully said.

  • Totally selfish to ignore a mandatory evacuation and expect rescue workers (already overwhelmed and exhausted, risking their lives helping people who truly need it) to save you if you got in trouble. Also, to say only Texans help each other is a smack to the Louisianna, Oklahoma, etc people who helped us. The lesson is people will come together in a crisis. The world would be a better place if everyone continued being selfless.

    • Thank you for reading the blog and for sharing your thoughts. I understand your concern and want to assure you that I was never really in harm’s way which was why my son in law, a police officer, helped me make the decision to stay. I was one block into the mandatory evacuation map boundaries, the furthest from the river or bayou. Because my son in law is a police officer, he was on duty for the duration of the storm so my daughter and three teenage grandchildren came to Nana’s house. I live in a two story home and we felt 99% sure we were safe. We had life jackets, kayaks, water rafts and all the necessary equipment and went through the drills together to make sure we all knew our plan of action, down to knowing where the electrical and gas cut offs were in case of flooding. In hindsight, maybe I should have tried to evacuate, but I felt sure that my neighborhood was safe. Less than 200 yards from my house was out of the mandatory area. I know the lines have to be drawn to encompass entire neighborhoods.

      As for the help shown by everyone during this storm, I was not making light of the massive amounts of help that poured in from across the country. Being a Texan means that I have had times, like these when my Texas pride, is overflowing. There have also been times when I have been a bit ashamed of what we may have done or not done. We are all human, we all make mistakes, we all do good things. This post was, in no way, meant to belittle or downgrade anyone’s generosity. I was simply sharing my thoughts about the storm, the great people and the blessings we have been given. Throughout history crisis has brought people together, made them stronger, more caring and more loving. This storm and the storm in Florida will do the same. I have met some wonderful people here at PPL since the storm and have shared our stories, laughter, tears, and hugs. Please accept my apology for having offended you in any way. It was not intentional.

  • Well put and exactly the thoughts that ran through my head as the days went by.

  • I truly appreciated your story and I to witnessed the best in people as they came together. I hope this will inspire the country and the world to drop some of the hatred and realize it could be us the next time mother nature decides to act up. My prayers are with you and all of the people effected and to the ones that may be effected by Irma.

  • Words well spoken! Confirmation that you RV Nana are leading our Team with purpose for a reason!

  • Awesome! God is good and God bless Texas and my husband and I always say there is something very special about rv buffs like traditional America and Texans we care about each other

  • Hurricane Harvey has left so many people homeless and in need of so much. We will be happy to work with them and try to find a great deal on an RV. It has touched my heart to hear all of the stories from all the first responders, storm victims and families who lost so much so quickly. Please feel free to reach out to me and we will see what we can do to help.
    Thank you,
    Diana

  • I am sympathetic to the plight of all Americans faced with the kinds weather related problems you’ve experienced. Being from Philadelphia, however, I am also deeply resentful at having to send any tax dollars to you after Ted Cruz and the congressional representatives from Texas, all climate deniers, voted to deny such funds to victems of Hurricane Sandy which ravaged our area some years ago. Additionally, it’s absolutly clear that Texas, in general, and Houston, in particular, have been almost criminally negligent in failing to regulate deveopment and institute procedures which would have mitigated the effects of these storms on its citizens and, thus, the burden on other parts of the country. I have written to my representatives here asking that they vote against any and all aid to Texas until and unless that crowd of right-wingers apologize for their votes to deny other American citizens the resources that they are now asking us to provide to all of you. I know! Yes, I know! These are horrible feelings to express at this time. But please try to put yourselves in our place several years ago. How in hell do you continue to elect those unprincipled, unpatriotic lunatics down there. Can you now imagine how we felt up here? You all need to take a second look at these people. Indeed, if Harvey had happened to you first, and one of my elected representatives had tried to deny aid to you, our fellow Americans, I would do everything I could to put his ass out of office. Obviously, I’m still enraged. There’s simply no excuse for their conduct.

Leave a Comment

All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.