It’s been five days since that day that I saw our house submerged in the flood, and sometimes I still wonder if everything that happened was just a dream.
But every time I go back home and see the mess that we have to clean up, the furniture that we have to bring out of the house, the mattresses that needed to be washed out and dried…and the fact that my dad is leaving so soon, I am brought back to reality and I can feel despair creeping into my heart again.
Yesterday I said that I will stop being a victim and start being a survivor. However, the moment I got home and learned that there was no water that we could use to clean up, I started feeling down again. When my brother dropped me off at the condo, I took some time at Galleria to get some wifi and look around (yes, I tried looking for the bag. Failed). As I checked Twitter and Facebook, I read a lot of updates about Pepeng and I felt full-fledged fear. The kind of fear that I only used to feel when I was thinking about my thesis back in college, and yet not quite because this time it’s not just the grades I am worrying about but our own lives.
It was enough to make me teary-eyed…but I didn’t cry just yet. It wasn’t until I got to the condo, with my first nutritious dinner in four days that I found myself bawling after almost slipping on the growing pool of water under the refrigerator that was there because my dad defrosted the freezer.
I know it’s something no one should ever cry about, but I was tired. I felt beaten. I was despairing, I was afraid. All I could think of was, “Lord, please stop hitting me while I’m still down. Please, please, let me recover first before bringing me anything else.”
It was the first time I’ve cried like that for the longest time. It was the type of crying that had actual sobs, not the kind of crying I usually do with laughter in between. I almost just wanted to sit there and just cry because I felt like my heart couldn’t take it anymore. Lord, I’m not strong enough. Lord, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t deal with it. Lord, I’m sorry I can’t be stronger.
I thought I was okay…but I wasn’t. I don’t think I’ll be really, really okay yet. Yesterday while I was cleaning up, I started wondering what I would have been doing at that moment if the flood didn’t happen. I probably would’ve been at work. My brother would be somewhere, working on a project, probably. My parents would be buying stuff for my dad’s return to Saipan. I would’ve gone to Body Jam earlier today before heading to work. I would’ve been making plans for NaNoWriMo 2009. I would’ve been buried in CSS codes at work. I would’ve been planning something to do for the weekend…I would have. I would have. But I’m not.
I miss a lot of things back before the flood. Work. My normal everyday routine. I know things will go back to normal eventually, but I know the flood has changed me. There will always be the “before the flood” and “after the flood”. I will always remember September 26 as the day that the seemingly impossible happened to us, and changed all our lives.
* * *
There’s Pepeng news all around, and right now I just don’t want to listen to it. I’m scared, because we haven’t fully recovered yet and here comes another possible big blow. And it’s not over yet because I hear there’s another one coming soon. But there’s nothing else I can do (other than get ready) but pray. And believe that God is faithful. Because He is. And when my strength is not enough, I’m sure His is.
PEPENG, MY GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOU.
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 – The Message)