When Life Gives You Hurricanes

When Life Gives You Hurricanes

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write for a couple of reasons: vacation and Hurricane Irma. We went on a much needed family vacation the last week of August. It definitely was an interesting one, for sure. Both kiddos took turns getting sick while on vacation, which meant no sleep for this mama. We made the best of it, however.

By the time we got home from our getaway, we realized we needed to prep for Hurricane Irma. That entire week was full of preparing, organizing and getting things ready in the case of evacuation. Needless to say, this was the second week of “Team No Sleep” for me.

With this hurricane being so unpredictable, we decided to hunker down at home for the worst of the storm, as the news had stated we would most likely experience strong Category 1 hurricane weather. We had done everything right with regards to having our safe room ready in case things got worse, having enough water/food, as well as candles and bags packed, just in case. One of the meteorologists I followed mentioned having a sound machine for the kids to distract them from the noise they would hear. I had NO idea what that meant since this was our first hurricane experience. But, I learned soon enough.

My daughter describes the sound of the hurricane winds as “waves from the ocean”. She is right. That is exactly how it sounded. My kids were afraid and I did my best to comfort them. That Sunday night, my son fell asleep with his legs curled around me and his small hands pressed against his ears. My daughter was at my feet, touching it every so often to make sure that I had not left them to deal with the storm alone. I prayed over them that entire night. Every hour that passed was every hour I was counting down until that storm was over. I continued to pray for my children’s sound minds. Having a background in psychology, I was aware of the traumatic effects natural disasters can incur on individuals. And the emotional and physiological welfare of my children was at the top of my prayer list during that time.

Around Monday afternoon, the winds had calmed and things seemed normal…except for the fact that we lost power the night before. Thankfully, there was minor damage to the outside of the house. We ended up being without power from Sunday night until the following Saturday afternoon.

There are so many ways we could have reacted regarding our situation. Jason and I chose our hardest to keep positive. And I believe we succeeded. We heard many complaints from those experiencing the same things and it really was so easy to be miserable; cold showers, no home cooked meals, stress levels elevated, financial hardships, and so on. Our focus was on setting an example for our children to not sense any negativity. I was determined to make a smooth transition from our inconvenience to our regular routines once there was power and we are able to return home.

The truth of all of this is that we did not experience such tragedy and loss as those in South Florida and the islands below. We were spared the horrible brunt of the storm. This was the mindset Jason and I purposefully worked hard at keeping. I didn’t sleep for 3 weeks. I could’ve turned into a nasty monster. Jason has his moments, as well. And he also did his best to keep upbeat. I truly believe that because of our attitudes through this whole situation, my children were able to transition back into their regular routines a bit more smoothly than if our attitudes were different.

Remember, people are always watching. Our resilience is strengthened through our dependence on God. And as a result, we are able to overcome and be stronger than before. Let us keep in mind that the behaviors we choose to display, based on our situations and circumstances, can be the “make it or break it” point for those watching us.

When life gives you hurricanes, let those around you feel and be strengthened by the resilience of your winds, not of the storm’s…

Amy Velazquez
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