Friday, October 24, 2008

the aftermath of ike.

Reading over the lyrics to this song now after I have written them out seem really dark. But that's not how I intended my adoration for this song to sound.

Most of you know that Jerry and I live in Houston. Some of you may have noticed that we totally got hammered by Hurricane Ike on September 13th. One week after our wedding day, ironically.

Just in case you don't watch the news, or TV at all for that matter, it was brutal. It still is. Galveston barely exists anymore. Boliver Penninsula is now Boliver Island, and about half of south Houston was under water for days. There are STILL almost a MILLION people here without power. That means no lights, no a/c, no fridge, no laundry, no TV, no cell phone charger, no computer, NOTHING. If you don't have a battery powered radio you're sitting in silence. And when the batteries run out that's it.

On a personal note, there are hundred year old trees down all over our neighborhood. I saw our neighbor's brand new VW Beetle chopped completely IN HALF by a tree. We were without power for over a week, and some are expected to be without power for another 2-3 weeks. We're some of the lucky ones because we just happen to have a street light on our lot.

We had nothing. No grocery stores, no gas, no lights, no ice, nothing. We were, for all intents and purposes, living like colonial settlers. Except it was worse because we knew what it was like to miss those things. I had to stand in front of my refrigerator after day 4 and empty out well over a hundred dollars worth of food into the garbage can. It was painful. When we finally passed out at the end of the day after hours of manual labor cleaning up debris, in a hot bed in a hot room, in a hot house, it was only for as long as our bodies forced us to shut down before we arose again unable to sleep any longer in the heat. It was brutal, all of it.

We had to get our stuff from FEMA for God's sake... if being lumped into the same category as "Katrina Victims" doesn't make you feel like a worthless piece of shit, nothing will.

Anyway, one day this song came on the radio. We had just come from a church up North that was passing out provisions like Ice and Water that you could NOT get anywhere otherwise. These were people in situations just as bad as our own who were volunteering their time to load cases of water into people's trunks. Lined up as we drove away they are all reaching to shake our hands and saying "God Bless" and "Bless You" and I cried. The sheer magnitude of the situation shook me. There truly is still pure goodness in this fucked up world.

So then on the way home, with the windows of the car down and it being a cool day, (under 90... if that's actually considered cool) for a change, comes this song. Just hearing the words and watching the surroundings as we drove through miles and miles of devastation moved me to tears again. Life IS beautiful, and we should cherish it because it is so very fragile. There were some that were not so lucky as we were.

When I think about the wind making our house groan in agony, and shaking the roof of our house so hard I thought it was going to blow right off, or holding my scared and confused little dog as Jerry held scared me, or seeing entire limbs rolling down the street lengthwise, or cars being chopped in half, or HOUSES being chopped in half, or standing on the front porch watching the water inch it's way up the driveway to the house... I really start to appreciate the important things in life. Family, the people in your life who love you, and a God that (I believe) watches out for his children.

Check out the song, and think of those down here who are just trying to survive.

"Life is Beautiful"
-Sixx A.M.

You can't quit until you try,
You can't live until you die,
You can't learn to tell the truth until you learn to lie.
You can't breathe until you choke,
You gotta laugh when you're the joke.

There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive.

Just open your eyes,
Just open your eyes and see that life is beautiful.
Will you swear on your life that no one will cry at my funeral?

I know some things that you don't,
I've done things that you won't.
There's nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home.

I was waiting for my hearse,
But what came next was so much worse...
It took a funeral to make me feel alive.

Just open your eyes,
Just open your eyes and see that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!
Will you swear on your life that no one will cry at my funeral?

Alive, just open your eyes,
Just open your eyes and see that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!
Will you swear on your life that no one will cry at my funeral?