Alone, Alabama

The call came at 10:30 Thursday night. I had been trying to forget I worked for FEMA. I had been studiously ignoring the tornadoes that had been ravaging the country because I didn’t want to have to make this decision: accept a month long deployment or stay in Falmouth with Mirra and Alex.

FEMA pays incredibly well; the hourly wage isn’t much, but then there’s the per diem and the massive amounts of overtime. I was looking at making as much in a month as I could make the entire summer. Or staying with Mirra and Alex and really feeling like we were getting started on our trip.

I sought advice. Sartre says that you only seek advice from people you know are going to tell you what you want to hear. Everyone told me to go. It’s an incredible opportunity, they said. It’s a lot of money, which you could all use.

I made the wrong choice, but sometimes you have to make the wrong choice to know what the right one is. If you asked me what makes me the most interested in community I would have said ‘not being alone.’ Community offers you the choice to not be alone when you don’t want to be alone. To not do, alone, things you don’t want to do alone. And here I am, alone. In two days Mirra and Alex are going to be together in that beautiful house and I’m here all by myself.

I’m going to stick it out as long as I can, but I can’t say how long that will be. All I want to do is to go home. And, as weird as it is to stay, Mirra and Alex are my home right now.

I’m here in my hotel room. Tomorrow we’re shipping out to form a DRC in nowheresville Alabama. We don’t know what we’ll find; disaster or a community that is perfectly fine. We might be overrun, we might be bored to death. We might be set up in a parking lot with no shade and no bathrooms, or we might be in a nice over-airconditioned building. Disaster management is all guesswork and piece-meal.

I’m going to bed now, because I have to get up at 5.30.

Everything I do that is moving towards this trip makes me happy and everything I do that moves me away makes unhappy. I don’t think I’m going to be happy until I’m on a plane, headed home.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jennifer Kisela on April 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Well, I have to admit that I’m proud of your choice 🙂 I hope your back in time for July 9th…but if not, I will be thinking of you and the greater good that you are doing for others. Love you!


  2. there is a peace of me not here and it is with you. what ever you decide to do is what i think you shuld do. when you called me last friday and toled me that FEMA called you and you asked me if i thought you shuld go, i shuld not have blabed my opinyon, i shuld have asked you what you thought and how you felt and helped you to figure that out. perhaps, in the the suden time crunch, we were haisty in ower desison making but, like you said, we learn from ower mistakes. this actualy is the begining of ower jurny together this summer even though we are not phisicaly all here yet. we knew there would be dificult times to help and suport eatchouther threw and this is one of those times. i’m with you all the way baby. stay and finish your work or come home to me if that’s what you feel. mirra


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