Saturday, October 27, 2007

15 mins to evacuate

I'm well despite the fires. I'm one of the few who lucked out of the horror. Still I'm suffering from the distress. Above all I'm suffering from survival guilt. I mean some people have been hit so hard, to nothingness and here I'm all I suffer is the ashy-smoky tinged air discomfort. I mean what do you tell the ones who've lost everything? what do you offer them? do you give them money? or do you open your doors to them? or do you lock yourself up and kill yourself with the survival guilt? It's so overwhelming when you're in a place and everyone else has lost all they had but you. You're definitely not on the same page and no one walks in another's shoes for a second so you can't even begin to understand their situation. While sympathy is a no no even empathy seems a tad bit mean here.

Today I went to class and we had a stress/crisis discussion and some of my classmates who were affected shared their grief. The main thing was the minute they got the reverse 911 calls giving them anywhere from 3min to 15mins to evacuate their homes. The sheer confusion of not knowing what to take with them and what not to. They explained how in that moment their priorities in life seemed to suddenly changed. They grabbed medications, some clothings, documents and then some weird items like a metal plunger. I can't begin to fathom the confusion that would linger in such a moment you know what to take and at the same time you don't. If I was to walk in those shoes I'd grab all my important paperwork and some clothes. I know even in writing am at pains to pick so I shall digress...

I vividly remember the night I stood at the patio and watched the fire working it's way downhill towards my house, friends and family called to ensure I had my bag packed ready to voluntarily evacuate but I wasn't ready and honestly I didn't even pack. I couldn't sleep at night, I stayed up all week and at dawn I'd fall asleep and wake up at 5pm PT and the cycle was vicious. However, we made it. God is awesome.

My heart goes out to the deceased souls, the bereaved families and those directly affected, directly affected meaning those who personally lost their loved ones, homes, possessions and property. As a city, everyone in San Diego has been affected directly or/and indirectly. I'm grateful to all the emergency services and each San Diegan. In this time crisis and disaster a lot of corporation has been exhibited and we are all very appreciative to each other.

To all my family, friends, and even blogosphere friends for checking on me. Thanks for hitting the redial button when the reception was bad, for opening your homes to me and the comments and e-mails.

Please tell me had you being the one who got the reverse 911 call to evacuate in 15mins what would you have grabbed?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fires Update

Last night when I went to bed there were only eight fires. This morning I woke to thirteen fires. Flashback to Sunday there were only three fires. Suffice to say they're spreading faster than expected. The SD county is running out of water. The only thing that am content and happy about is that people are taking the mandatory evacuations seriously and getting their behinds out of their homes. I know people have lost homes and other valuables worth millions but all that is replaceable so I think it is ok for now. I know it's been hard watching t.v. and suddenly reading your address as one of the houses the fire will be striking next, I can only imagine how devastating it has been getting a reverse 911 call declaring immediate mandatory evacuation, what to grab and what not? or even how heart breaking it is receiving the news that yours is one of the homes that have burned or worse still watching/watched it burn.

These fires are destroying memories that will remain irreplaceable but material cannot measure up to peoples' safety. People have been urged to knock on their neighbors doors during evacuations to ensure no one is left behind. The reverse 911 calls only work for landlines and some don't have landlines in their houses so it's very considerate and thoughtful to knock on those doors and make sure we get everyone out in time. Only one person has died so far, God rest his/her soul in eternal peace. Over 300,000 people have been evacuated and so many homes have burnt down to ashes and beyond recognition. Most of the people have been evacuated or are evacuating to Qualcomm Stadium, home stadium of the San Diego Chargers.

Right now as I type this the fire is coming down the hill towards my house but still it is a safe distant away. The winds have slightly calmed down and hopefully that shouldn't work against us. They haven't issued a voluntary or mandatory evacuation for my area
yet.

I'm grateful to all the firefighters/firemen, the news casters/presenters, the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the families that have been evacuated, Red Cross, the volunteers, National Guard, all the food places and other miscellaneous companies that have made donations to aid the evacuated families just the whole of San Diego County for the corporation and togetherness in all of this.

A lot of places are out of power and the SD county has requested we stay away from our cellphones unless very necessary b/c they're highly relying on them right now for communication and updates. All schools both private and public are closed until further notice.

Thank you to all my friends and family for the calls, text messages, FB messages and anyway you've reached me to check on me. I appreciate!!!!!!!!

Stay safe :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Four years on Wednesday

How is it that time flies so much
It's been four years
How is it that it all seems just like yesterday
so fresh in my mind
four years
yet still I turn and toss
when i wake to a dream you're in

Four years H
still I see your empty grave
four years
still I hear the dirt pouring in over
your casket

Four years
and time hasn't healed this wound
it has wounded the healing
four years
still addicted to this pain

We still can't let you go
tomorrow I'll be there in spirit
haven't I always been
I'll listen as they speak of you
you were an angel

Four years H
still I catch myself
sending up a prayer for you
four years and my eyes still tear
my heart still aches
my soul is still sorrowful
H, rest in peace

But she and I
we push them to go see him
each time we talk
I harshly inquire of their last visit
I bitterly remind them you watch down from up above

Four years and still
I hear you call my name
still hear you yell mom's name
from the gate
still you talk to me
reprimanding she and I to not go on that 'walk'
understanding only too well of the mischief
oh H
with a smile and a chuckle still you let us

Four years H
and still you talk to me
still I run into you down the street
still I can't stop crying over your demise
four years still no scar
just a wound still so fresh
not a scab over it,no

Oh, H
do you look down on us
do you still love us
do you remember each one of us
do want us to not cry
are you really in a better place

It's been a tough week for us
but since you've been gone
each day has been a rude awakening of you
gone on a no return journey

Do you rest in peace?