Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

That was then. This is now.

It’s gone. All of it.

I met the FEMA inspector at the house late this morning. He insisted I had to be there even if I didn’t go in the house.  I borrowed a super heavy-duty charcoal filtered face mask from work (they had a box full for reporters and photogs going in to the houses).

I didn’t go in the apartment. Actually, neither did the inspector.

 Just driving to the block through the Time Check neighborhood made me nearly sick to my stomach and left me a littled dazed and, I think, shell shocked.

People — wearing surgical masks and boots – scuttle from the doors of their homes to the curbs carrying water soaked couches, tables, beds, mattresses, toys – their lives – to the curb where the sodden grotesque mounds grow higher and higher.

 Out-of-town law enforcement vehicles troll through the jammed streets and there’s a scummy gray pall over everything.  Stoplights are not working and drivers — like me — are slow to respond, seeming to be in shock.

I could clearly distinguish a waterline at the bottom of the porch roof, about 2 clapboards above the window. The white garage at the back of the property is mud gray.

Brooke, the young woman who lived in the upstairs apartment, said she cried when she looked in our front door.  She was busy salvaging belongings from her apartment. She will be moving permanently, she said, because she doesn’t want to trust that mold won’t form in the house and she has a beautiful young son to think about.

Doug, the landlord, called and did check on a few very sentimental items for us: He saved some of Mom’s jewelry, sentimental to her because my dad made it; a litte green glass toothpick holder she’s had for 86 of her nearly 90 years; my two piggy banks (“You’re going to need all the money you can get your hands on,” he said.); and he was keeping his eye out for the black iron dutch oven my grandmother used her entire life and contributed to my Mom’s kitchen when she broke up housekeeping.

The FEMA boost money should be coming quickly, the inspector said.

Gotta run for now. Dialysis treatment looms and I’m already going to be late.

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June 20, 2008 - Posted by | kidney

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