However, (at that time) we had no idea our family would be separated for nearly a year. With my children and mini-dachshund, Pablo, in tow we fled to the states. I was now a (married) single mother. Once stateside, there was no time to waste so I hit the ground running. Within two weeks I had set up our “new” life. My goal was to get the kids acclimated quickly. We had a new home, transportation, school for the kids, and extra-curricular activities to keep them busy and engaged. I remember this experience feeling as though I was climbing a steep mountain without a safety harness. My enjoyment of the view would quickly give way to sheer panic for how high I had climbed. “Don’t look down, keep going, you are safe,” is what I would tell myself when fear and doubt set in. Through tears, I laughed at the thought that this experience could either be a morbid social experiment or a terrible reality TV show.
Although we were displaced, my children were so resilient. This situation allowed us to become even closer. St. Croix was still our home, but (at that time) there was no home to go back to, at least not how we remembered it. I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. With the exception of the good and bad witches, we had been swept far, far, away to a new land. Like Dorothy, I realized how strong, courageous, and resilient I could be. The storm offered me an opportunity to remove the fluff from my life and get back to the basics. We didn’t need much to be happy: being safe and together was enough.
As each, day, week, and month passed I began to embrace my climb. I occasionally took opportunities to enjoy the view…even of the distant ground below. We made new life-long friends, celebrated holidays and birthdays and took road trips. I fulfilled my goal of eating my weight in Asian food. We created memories. The world did not end, but instead was altered for a short time. Before I knew it we were back home and happily reunited as a family. Our time away allowed me the perspective needed to examine what I truly wanted out of my life. Simplicity , ease, and enjoyment of life. Little pleasures is how I choose to live my life, run my business, and nurture my relationships. Thank you, Hurricane Maria.