My dad that is. Home and doing fairly well. The fluid is off, his breathing is better and his voice is strong. My breathing is better too now. I am better, and I am not. Mostly yes, sometimes still no. I read in the Fargo Forum today that the total number of "psychological first aid visits reached 1,615 in the Red River Valley." For a people who pride themselves on "stubborn self-reliance and ability to weather adversity," according to reporter Patrick Springer of the Forum, " a sense of nagging bewilderment" lingers. Some are saying "I'm just not right, I don't know how to think straight."
I've been trying to process a lot of this myself. Why does it seem harder now in ways, with the threat diminishing for so many of us? I look back and see a few things. I realize we had something to rally around. We organized, we worked together and we supported one another. Our cause was the same. It didn't matter to me that we were building a dike at the grey/blue house, because what protected them, protected us. What was the difference really? And when city officials called for 1.5 million sandbags and raised that number daily to a staggering 3.5 million? It all got done. In fact in a 3-D rendering using Google SketchUp, Matt Chambers a former Fargoan who helped in the sandbagging efforts, gives some good visualizations to just what 3.5 million sandbags look like. Go here for the renderings : 3 D sandbag visualizations.
But now? We are on our own in many regards. We were scattered about and then finally called home to a much different scenario. The national guard are reducing their numbers. The once heavily patrolled streets are quieter. The water is receding. And the sandbags we're told, will have to be taken down by ourselves. There is no plan. No vested men telling us when or how. Its hanging out there uncertain and unsure.
And a part of me is still waiting for someone to tell me what to do. Nolan wants to sleep in our room, just in case the water comes in the night. The kids fight, whine and bicker more than usual. My nerves are frayed. I can't remember the last time I was away from them? Colton asks to go back to school every day. He thinks Monday he will. I haven't had the heart to tell him that with school starting two hours late on Monday, morning kindergarten will not happen on Monday. Its my new normal.
But then I catch myself. I sound ungrateful. And I am not. Out of sync perhaps. Bewildered maybe. Its not just me. My neighbor is training to run in the Fargo Marathon again this year. She hasn't missed a year since its inception a few years back. But she had a 16 mile run on Saturday that didn't go well. She got tired more quickly than usual. She also got dehydrated and almost blacked out. She is now worried she won't make it. Mentally, she has a block. But, she was amazing in the sand bag lines. Strong, steady and a hard worker. She threw many, heavy bags, relentlessly. And then she couldn't sleep when she was evacuated. Plus, after some long days at work, she tried to run that Saturday and couldn't. Is anyone surprised by this? I wasn't. But I told her I know her. She will run in the marathon anyway. Maybe, she'll have to walk a bit. Maybe she'll have a slower time. But she'll finish. And when she thinks she can't, I will be there to tell her she can.
We'll rally again. This I believe. We'll rally again.
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