Don't Forget Us

Diane Sesler


© Copyright 2011 by  Diane Sesler


Photo of heavy rainfall, Nashville, TN, May 3, 2010.

One year later, spare a thought for all still trying to stay above water.

My name doesn't matter. The river doesn t care about identities.  It took our homes and people became one. My story is everyone's song. We ache. We have good days. We have bad days. Our emotions take unwanted rollercoaster rides.

One year ago I sat comfortably in my bedroom sending an email to my sister about the weather. Today I sit in a 33-foot trailer in our backyard staring at our empty home. The once manicured yellow roses are free to climb the back porch. An unplanned Grey Gardens creeps in naturally. I have lost interest in making our yard look perfect. It doesn't matter. I'm an ant whose home was kicked by a bully into a pile of sand.

The word "permanency" was taken away by the rain. I dream of a new home. I visualize a small unattended garden area with dandelions and weeds. It will be my memorial that not everything can be tamed in life. Our existence can't be controlled with a neat scheduled agenda.

The flood became our teacher. It reiterated that things do not matter. Shopping is different. Do I really need this? I look at your house and think that it could all float away. I see it in an unrecognizable pile on the side of the road. Your grandma's smile on a photograph is forever gone. This is my reality.

I learned that there are earth angels. Strangers will help you. Others will steal from you even when you are down on your luck. Friendship is important. You realize that spending time with friends is a great gift.  Too many hours are wasted on polishing inert objects or watching other people's reality shows. Time slips away. Don't take anything for granted.

We lost our nest and didn't have time to say goodbye. Grieving takes time. Some think that it's over. Some have forgotten us. Some tell us to move on.

It's not that I want you to cry for me. I just don't want to be forgotten. I don't want to be the dust swept under your carpet. It's not over. People on my street are still not in their homes. Some people have no money. Some people are waiting for the buy-out. Some are gone. Some don't want to leave, but many of us do not have the luxury of rebuilding. Some have moved into their new home, but have no furniture. It's unlikely that any of us will ever hear, "Move that bus!"

Rebirth follows death. A new spring is inevitable. The garden of my soul will bloom again someday. We need your continuous support and kindness. We need you to acknowledge that some of us are still here and need your help. Don't forget us.

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