It’s been about 7 weeks since September 6th. Since Irma…
The beautiful island of Tortola, the small slice of heaven we were fortunate enough to call home was eaten up and then spat back out again. You can see photographs and videos that show the horror of natural disasters and yet no amount of media can ever prepare you for it happening to you, your neighbours and your friends.
And so… pardon the absence. I know it’s been awhile, it certainly feels like awhile since I’ve tapped fingertips to keys. Yet strangely enough, it’s with reluctance that I’m even here writing. This has been the most turbulent and destructive few weeks and I am eternally grateful for the thoughtfulness and kind words offered by both friends, family and strangers at this time. However, it’s been difficult to get my head back in the game and to find my mojo again, and that includes any dedication to the blog. I have come to think though, that perhaps writing at least something down will help settle my mind. At this moment in time I’m struggling to be interested in what I was before and I don’t really feel like being as social or dialled in; I kind of want to burrow away until I can make sense of what is going on in my head. That’s a hard reality to come to face as I am usually such an upbeat and positive person finding the silver lining in almost any situation.
As I’ve said to so many people, I don’t want to talk about what happened prior to the hurricane, during the hurricane or the days on the island after it and I certainly won’t write a blog post about it. It’s private to us and though I’m speaking up here now, this is not the place to try and gain readership from a natural disaster that’s an ongoing nightmare for so many people, as there aren’t really any words that can describe such an horrific experience. Watch this video expertly put together by Sam Branson to reflect in all the right words, exactly what it’s been like for all those swept up in this nightmare. At the end of the video you can also find the best way to help contribute to this cause and provide a helping hand to relief efforts going on…
There is also an element of guilt. In comparison to so many, we were lucky and my heart bleeds for those with absolutely nothing left. And yet, there is optimism, hope and strength sprouting from the darkest places from people all over the British Virgin Islands. I have learnt that nature is beautiful, astonishing and incredible. But… it can also be ugly, brutal and monstrous. Humanity, in much the same way, has the ability to be ugly, harsh and despicable, yet even through the darkest times, people can become beacons of strength and inspiration, showing all manner of selflessness and love. The ying and yang of humanity, or the planet itself, is that you can be consumed by its ugliness or you can devote your time focusing on its beauty. I imagine this is the psychological predicament for so many.
Some days it feels like this has all been so unexpected to the point I have to pinch myself that it even really happened. Yet other days, I’ll hear a loud gust of wind, a helicopter or have a bad dream that feels so real, that I feel instantly transported back. I suppose that doesn’t make much sense.
I have some wonderful friends and amazing family that have supported me and offered team Burns-Di Lauro a true helping hand. These truly awesome individuals have made us feel both supported and loved and have made me cherish them all the more. Unfortunately, there have been people, friends and family that have revealed their true colours in the most disappointing of ways. From that perspective, I have also learnt that life is far too short to invest your precious heart on people who aren’t worthy. Though I’d never have chosen this experience, I can honestly say I’ve come out far stronger and thicker skinned than I was before and so the World looks different to me now. We can’t pick our experiences but we can pick who we surround ourselves with.
After the longest journey back home after the evacuation, I’m now back in Jersey taking each day as it comes and feeling stronger every week. And so in summary, please bear with me… whether you are a reader of this blog, a friend or a family member, I’m just a little lost right now but everything is starting to look brighter. I’m here with my utter hero of a husband and my brave soldier dog, Floyd. Quite possibly one of the most well travelled dogs, he has many stories of his own.
We are a solid trio. We’ve sampled a spoonful of hell but we did it together and have come out the other side. I am in utter awe of my husband and I didn’t think it was possible to adore him anymore. But I do; every day my heart swells a little more. A bit of a curveball (or should I say ‘curve-boulder’) has been hurled our way but I look forward to whatever adventures unravel in our future. I feel blessed to have found such a phenomenal human being. Onwards and upwards ❤
Peace & love to all those in the Caribbean effected by the storms of this year. Let’s raise our painkillers to the strength and future of the Caribbean…
I’ll finish with one massive thank you! I don’t think I’ll ever find a word big enough to truly radiate my gratitude to all the sparkling individuals that helped us along the way but please know we’ll never ever forget you: THANK YOU!