To say this month has been difficult is an understatement. Have you ever had one of those months, or heck one of those years? We have, and let me tell you they are awful!
At the beginning of the month we were hit with Hurricane Matthew. This was a huge hit both emotionally and financially. We were in no way prepared to be hit by a category 4 hurricane. To make matters worse my husband was away on business and we had very minimal money in our bank account. Areas near the water were being evacuated as they expected terrible flooding up to 5 miles inland, strong winds, and massive power outages.
To begin preparing I went to our local Dollar Tree, and purchased flash lights, and lots of batteries. This was an amazing savings as most packages of D batteries can run you over $5 for a 4 pack in other stores. I bought enough packages to refill all out flashlights 3 times. Figuring that we would only be using them at night for approximently 3-4 days. About 2 days before the hurricane was going to hit, I went to the local grocery store to buy some items such as canned food, and water. With a very limited budget I was not able to buy much, but got enough to last us 2 days. I also took gallon size zip lock bags and filled them with water and placed them in my freezer on top of any frozen foods. This was a MASSIVE help once the power went out. It helped keep our food cold for an extra day. FINALLY, the day before the storm hit my husband was finally able to come home. This was such a huge relief to me. The though of taking on the hurricane by my self with a 3 year old was terrifying. I was going to evacuate to my best friends house, who lives in the panhandle but the traffic on the roads was horrible from everyone else evacuating. The last place I wanted to be was a sitting duck on the highway. So at home we stayed.
The day before the hurricane hit we started to get bad weather, but we still had power. I took this opportunity to start cooking the food we had in the fridge that I knew would go bad once the power went out. I also had 7 dozen frozen cookie dough pucks from a fundraiser my sons school had held a few months prior. So I figured, hey why not bake all the cookies. When I get bored I want sweets something fierce. So I started baking. It also helped keep my mind off what was coming and helped me stay relativity calm. While baking I prepared Go Bags, for our clothing, food, and essential items should we need to evacuate to a local shelter.
Finally, its Friday the day the hurricane is going to hit us. We are trying to see what is going on with the storm, but we lost power at 8am and lost all out cell signal as well. We watched the storm outside our windows and waited for the worst to come. Occasionally we are receiving text messages from my family in South Florida, and I am having my mom update us as to where the storm is. We got extremely lucky and did not receive any damage to our home, other then our fence being slightly damaged and losing all of our food. To say we got EXTREMELY lucky is an understatement and a true blessing. At last minute the storm moved more off shore, saving us from severe decimation. Although people in our town received varying amounts of damage, with lost roofs, downed trees, broken windows, crushed cars, etc. Our neighbors in Flagler Beach and to the North of us St. Augustine and Jacksonville received severe damage to their homes and businesses. Some still uninhabitable today. We have seen our community come together to help each other recover, clean, and rebuilt and its a great thing to see.
After the storm
This was the worst for me. I am still struggling with the lost of my grandmother, and this made the realization that she is gone come to the forefront. She was always there for us when ever we needed anything, even if we didn’t want or truly need her help. Here I was, just having gone through a hurricane, I lost all our food, and we were without power for 5 days. The financial stress of know we didn’t have the extra money to spend to pay all the bills due, and purchase all new food was difficult for me. My husband had to return to work the Monday after the storm, so I was here alone again to think about everything that was going wrong and how much I wanted my grandma back. I finally broke. It’s been almost 3 months since she has been gone and I have been holding back that grief and the dam broke. I cried for an entire day, if you looked at me I cried, If you talked to me I cried, I cried watching tv, or when my son would tell me he missed his great grandma so much. It was a messy day for sure. But, I made it through and we are doing ok. We are slowly rebuilding, and most companies are helpful with things like bill due dates, etc because of the storm. We will get through this, that I am sure of. Our struggles only make us stronger.