Thursday, September 22, 2005

Just Add Water

Houston has been shut down by the mayor, and everyone is trying to evacuate, so the freeways are at a stand-still. Sugarland, where most of my family lives, has been given the recommendation to evacuate, or perhaps stronger language was used. Every hotel for a thousand miles inland is booked to capacity, food and water are scarce on grocery shelves, and there is no more gas in the tanks. In other words, they are literally sitting ducks.

My sister and brother are my half-siblings; we share the same paternity, but the connection has not been equal. I am the oldest and lived with my father as my siblings went with their mother. Dad has always been a wanderer and really lost touch with his other children, whom have come to resent him for being gone and not supporting their mother financially. They have every right to be angry with him, but it burns them like a molten fireball in their guts, and has held them back in life. Each has acted out in their own way--my brother with drugs; my sister with anger and estrangement.

My dad called me the other day and said, "You will never guess who just called me?!" His voice was jumping with excitement. "My daughter!"

In the past it was about wanting money, but it was different this time. She just wanted to talk to her dad.

"I'm so proud of you," I told her.

"My new boyfriend has helped me in so many ways," she said on the phone this morning.

"Then he is my new best friend," I replied. "All your anger has been chewing you up, and I was seriously worried about you.

"That's all changed now," she continued, "I have to bring this family back together. Mom is scared, really scared about the hurricane. I told her to come over here, and she said, 'Nobody invited me.' I swear!"

"You need to get out of Sugarland," I said.

"We can't; we have nowhere to go. The highways are jammed and the gas stations are dry. We have to take our chances right here. Besides, we aren't under sea level here. If it floods, it will go away soon after."

"I hope you are right."

"Well, I called my brother and told him to get his butt over here, but he still doesn't understand that our third largest hurricane EVER is heading towards us, and I think he is messed up on drugs."

"God dammit!"

"I know, but if he won't come, then I am driving over and stealing his keys. I'll MAKE him come."

"Good for you sis."

Maybe when this storm blows over, in the wake of the destruction will stand a unified family where only broken parts lay scattered before.

For this I pray.


Sadie Lou said...

I have relatives in Corpus Christi Texas. That's in the line of fire right?

jenbeauty said...

For you Scott I pray too!

My hubby's aunt, uncle and cousins are all in Sugarland. They left yesterday but have the means many others do not.

My hubby's sister and BIL just moved back to Ohio this summer and for that I am grateful.

Scott said...

Sadie - It could be if it takes a turn south, but it wasn't looking that way last night. We're hoping for a slight turn south but not too far.

Jen - Wow, we're both from Ohio and have family in Sugarland. Parallel lives?

Shesawriter said...

I have a writing buddy in Texas that I'm trying to contact. This things looks like it's gonna be bad.


trinamick said...

Hope they stay safe. I'll take our tornados over hurricanes any day!

Mr. T said...

Funny how the threat of losing everything can help kickstart forgiveness.

I hope this helps bridge the gap for your father. I think he and you could use the comfort it will bring him.

I lived in that southeast Texas/southwest LA area... hurricanes were a "dime a dozen" while I was growing up. These days they even more frequent and rarely are they less than category threes. That's scary. Rita is considered the 3rd worse.. and its been said if there was a Category 6 this one would be one. That's horrifying. I hope Corpus holds out better than New Orleans did.

Scott said...

Tanya - It is supposed to hit at 2AM saturday. Maybe your friend is trying to leave.

Trina - I'll agree with that, but I wouldn't want to be in a bad one of either.

Scott said...

Mr T - I think it is going to miss Corpus. We'll see. We're hoping it passes between the major population centers.

jenbeauty said...

I know how weird is that Scott?!

Never had a brother, but you are seemingly close! lol

Ben O. said...

Yep - I've got some family in Sugarland too. I just heard that they are going to San Antonio. I thought that sounded a little close for my liking.

Here's hoping it isn't as bad as they think it could be.

Ben O.

Beth said...

I cannot believe all these storms. It seems so crazy, surreal. I hope everyone is all right.

BTW, we do share some commonalities. My father has other children whom he was estranged from until his death. I always wished we could have been one big family, but I was the only one who believed this.

magnetbabe said...

Tragedy brings people closer together. I truly hope it isn't too late and everyone will be safe. Even if material possessions are lost, the family bond will be stronger. Hang in there!

Miranda said...

I'll be praying too. For you and your family. I really hope things end up working out. When long running disputes finally get settled, it's the best feeling in the world.

Thoughts are with you guys!

Dixie Belle said...

I hope all goes well for your family. Maybe Rita will weaken some before hitting land.

The Zombieslayer said...

My folks are in Houston. I'm pretty worried, but not too worried because I'm pretty sure they're far enough away that the only damage they'll be getting is from falling trees. The town they live in built these huge 16' drainage ditches to deal with the flooding after a hurricane comes through and so far it's worked. I still pray it dies down and/or misses Houston.

The Zombieslayer said...

I still pray it dies down and/or misses Houston. Oh, that includes the Sugarland area too and all the other suburbs.

Jenn said...

My boyfriends sister is in Corpus and they aren't leaving and right now, even if they wanted to, couldn't.

My prayers are with you and your family.

This post/story was chilling.

Shesawriter said...

Hey Scott,

My Tag Torture ... er ... I mean, Tag information is up. LOL!


Scott said...

Jen - I'm honored that you would consider me so.

Ben - Wow, so many people I know have heard of, lived in, or have family or friends living in Sugarland. Wierd.

Beth - I know what you mean. I gave up on being a family anymore until my sister started to take the helm. You can't do it alone.

MagnetBabe - Thanks. We'll see about the family ties. Bro is doing drugs and can't appreciate tough love right now, and is going this storm alone. Some things will never change--maybe.

Miranda - Thanks for the prayer.

Dixie - Thanks. I think it is starting to swing north towards Port Arthur. A lot less damage to do up there, but I wish it would go into a desert or just go away.

Zombie - You didn't need to qualify, I know what you meant. Thanks though.

Jenn - I know, everybody is kind of stuck now. I think Corpus is going to be ok if the storm is truly moving north. I hate to hope for that if you know what I mean. Somebody is spared but others are not.

Tanya - Just left a comment for you. Thanks for playing along. I await your retribution.