It’s been two years since that day I spoke these words to our maid over the phone: “Lock the door. Close the windows. Forget the things. Save yourself.” I was at my mother’s house, The Painter was in Cebu. The water came all the way up to the roof and nothing was saved. This was what I posted in my old blog, 2 days after Ondoy.
|After The Rain||Sep 30, ’09 2:04 AM|
And yes, I decide to have a Nelson Twins song as the title for this entry.
I’m safe. The baby is safe. My husband was out of town. My maid was taken in by neighbors with a second floor.
We lost everything we deemed important but next to our safety, they don’t seem that important anymore.
Loads of messages from friends and family. Touching and truly, deeply appreciated. Those few kind words give me such strength.
I go weak at the knees when I look at what the flood has done to our home. I feel most for the carefully collected pictures whose colors are now running in dirty, stinking water. I spent hours looking at each picture one last time, remembering the happy times each picture was taken before I threw it in the garbage bag.
With gloved hands I took out each and every book from my library and carefully put them in a box so that we could try and dry them out. All my bibles with the handwritten notes on the margins. Harry Potter. Bartimaeus. Anne of Green Gables. Godfather. Neverwhere. Coraline. The Wolves In The Walls. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Griffin and Sabine.
I went on to my husband’s treasured art books. Each artbook represented my husband’s blood and sweat when, as a struggling young artist, he would suffer hunger and fatigue just to save every cent he made to buy oh-so-expensive books that helped shape him to be the painter he is today. Most of them disintegrated in my hands.
And then there were the children’s books. My baby in my tummy never got to hold them. Dr. Seuss in English and Mandarin. Little Prince in 4 languages. Eric Carle. Ouch.
My iMac. It was in a pathetic little heap covered in mud.
At the end of the day, they’re just things. My husband, my baby, myself. We’re flesh and blood. Our families are here. Our friends are here. We are alive. That is more than enough thanks to the heavens above.
It’s a fresh start! It’s a new day. It’s as if God cleaned our house of unnecessary things and left us with the basics to start a new life. Life is very very good.