Tuesday, September 8, 2015

When Is It Time To Forget?

Traumas heal on their own time schedule.

Today and tomorrow are the fourth anniversary of devastating floods that hit my area (and other areas in several states) of upstate New York.

Today, parts, but not all, of the physical damages have been fixed up or removed.  But the memories remain for too many of us.

We've moved on with our lives, yes.  The vacant houses in my neighborhood have, for the most part, been demolished.   Many businesses rebuilt but some businesses never recovered. 

The building rented by a major employer in this area (1300 employees), vacant since the flood, is finally going to be demolished.

We no longer have to structure our lives around the flood damage.

Right after the flood there was a blame game so many of us played.  The flood walls hadn't been tall enough.  FEMA wasn't responsive enough.  Pumps failed.  The river hadn't been dredged.

But, in reality, there was, and is, no one to blame.  Perhaps, only we ourselves are to blame, as we haven't done that much to make sure we don't suffer the same way next time.

There are still the memories, too.

I have never enjoyed the sound of falling rain in the same way again. I used to love that sound.

In the 2011 NaNoWriMo, I wrote a fictional memoir to help me heal.  I've never gone back to edit it, but there is a little part of me that wants to make that memoir the first book of a trilogy.  The third book would take place around 2060 in a Brooklyn neighborhood changed forever by climate change.  I wrote a first draft of that book for last year's NaNoWriMo, but that draft also needs major work.

In my caregiving efforts, I don't have enough time to concentrate on any editing, but perhaps it is just an excuse.

So, back to what we in Binghamton, New York call simply "The Flood"  Perhaps, forgetting isn't what we should do, because otherwise, we will never be prepared for "next time".  And, I believe there will be a next time.

The disaster I witnessed in my neighborhood, and in my city, in 2011 wasn't anything like disasters occurring in other parts of the world right now.  I want to make that clear.

But each anniversary brings back the memories of September 8 and 9, 2011 for me. And I wonder when we in New York will finally learn, and deal with the world we live in, with the climate that has changed and will be changed for the rest of our lives.

One day, it will rain again, and we will know if our actions (or inactions) made a difference. 

This is a post for the #Septemberchallenge, brought to us by Everyday Gyaan.


  1. It was an experience, and hopefully one that was learned from. I hope you get a chance to edit those stories. They should see the light of day.

  2. I can't even imagine the pain and loss that you have gone through. But hope- that's the essence of all!

  3. Oh, that is sad to read. I can so relate- nature give and take. We ve had some flooding and other here in Norway too. Can completely understand your emotions. Sending big hugs:-)

  4. Yes, each milestone in our life should teach us something. For suffering must have a purpose. Yo can't teach others, Alana, but you have your own reaction locked away in your memory. If the Earth floods, we need to work out what to do. Some of us might need to be strong and lead the others, if only in book form.

  5. I can imagine how scary it must be, Alana. That you turned channelized this into a book is amazing. The premise of your trilogy is so true to life - I hope you push it through soon.

  6. Oh, Alana, my heart hurts for you. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I am so glad you can write about it, and work through those feelings in that way. Hugs!


Thank you for visiting! Your comments mean a lot to me, and I appreciate each one. These comments are moderated, so they may not post for several hours. If you are spam, you will find your comments in my compost heap, where they will finally serve a good purpose.