The Elephant Lingering in My Home: Puerto Rico

that is how many days it took before my mom called to tell us they survived #Hurricanemaria.
Emotions bubble to the surface unexpectedly all the time. we are going about living and I burst into tears at my doctor appointment, in the shoe store buying new shoes for my toddler, and it was waterworks at the supermarket. 
I think of my family, my cousins there are many, aunts, uncles and my parents, who are going without these simple luxuries we take for granted.

It's week (3) of the aftermath:
  • My cousin posted on FB this is 74-year-old mother called and said that she celebrated today because she got enough water to wash up a bit. 
  • My cousin posted on FB that they are bathing in the river, waiting in line for gasoline, she is trying to find food for herself and her elderly neighbors. 
  • Then this video shows up on my FB feed regarding the Western side of the island where my family is: Video of the Western Side of Puerto Rico
The tears flow again.  I didn't see my town's post office as open on the list online. This makes me uneasy to send care packages just yet. I started putting packages together for when the time comes I hope it's this week. 

Stateside family members are working on getting some of our loved ones out of Puerto Rico.  The earliest day for flights from Aguadilla is October 19, 2017.  Every time we tried to book a seat on a flight to Florida someone as desperate as we are snatched up the ticket.  There isn't enough gasoline to make the three hour trip to San Juan.  It's still being rationed and people are choosing it to run generators and put a bit of gas in the cars.  Per another family member's text.  There is spotty cell reception in town at times.  These are days we get texts, FB posts or a 4-minute call.

Then I have family members like my parents who won't leave because looters are everywhere, people are desperate.  My mum called on Sunday, October 8, 2017, this is the third call. She said that my dad is walking the perimeter of the farm around the clock because people have tried to trespass. One group of men had my dad on full alert.  Dad told mum that these men were not looking for help.  He felt they were looking for trouble.  Dad's lost everything.              

My heart breaks and my soul shatters each time my mum calls and says your dad is devastated and I hear him cry at night.  I have only seen dad cry a hand full of times at his dad's funeral, my wedding day, my sister's wedding day and when he first met his grandkids.  We have been through many hard times but nothing, I mean NOTHING of this magnitude.

Then others say no because they feel that there is too much racial tension and they don't want to face racism. My family member is old and said that they went through enough hell in the 1940s and 1950s. They went on to say "hell the Americans stateside don't think Puerto Rico is part of the United States. No l will die here in my home." I could not respond back because his words rang true.  

I write this not for political reasons. I wrote it to show the reality of what is happening to our nation.  When a fellow American chooses to stay where there are no basic necessities of life because they don't feel that they are not seen or treated like an American speaks volumes.


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