I went through a very difficult time in my life that started shortly before Hurricane Rita. The Christmas before Rita hit, I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Katie was hospitalized with pneumonia the day I was released (which was the day before Christmas Eve). My story, A Christmas Basket, published in Christmas Miracles, tells about that unfortunate incident and how good came from it.
In June that same year, Pete and the kids were involved in a horrendous car accident because a teenager was not paying attention. He was going full speed ahead while fidgeting with the radio when he ran into my precious family and changed our lives forever. Thankfully my children were okay, but pulling shards of glass out of a two-year-old's hair is not fun. The one who suffered was Pete. He had ruptured discs in his neck and eventually had to undergo surgery. Even so, he is not the same active man he once was. That has spurred quite a bit of poetry and unsent letters.
Also that summer my father was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. The BIG "C" WORD always brings a lot of anxiety and apprehension. My mother had breast cancer years before so we knew it would not be easy. Luckily my dad is fine now, but he did have a second run in with it several years after his first treatment. I am proud to say both of my parents are cancer survivors. That's a story in and of itself.
Then Hurricane Rita came along and we were forced to evacuate. Eight hours in the car, Houdini acts, diaper stints and three restless kids under the age of six are enough to make anyone crazy. When Ike came several years later, we stayed for the storm. Big mistake! The article (next paragraph) I have written tells about what I went through during those two hurricanes. For me, the chaos occurred before the storms hit. After Rita, we were in Dallas having a grand old time with family. We evacuated to a friend's home two days after Ike and also had a lot of fun. The kids think hurricane means vacation. Not!
My article, The Calm After the Storm: How to Survive a Hurricane, is highlighted on MyDaily.com. I have author Gina Misiroglu and the editors from Red Room to thank for this accomplishment. When I joined Red Room several months ago, I never dreamed they would be so helpful and personable. Gina helped me get my article from page to publication in less than a week. If you are a writer, I highly recommend you join Red Room.
Many other things happened between the two hurricanes, much of which I attribute to the mere fact of raising kids. And of course, there's Mary. She died shortly before Ike hit. I have written these stories down and hope to share all of them some day. I never knew something so rewarding could come out of life's struggles. That's what "sharing" is all about; it cleans us out.