This past week has been one that I will probably never forget. The destruction and devastation of my hometown Brisbane, and my big wide state of Queensland, has been enormous. I've termed it as the "lost week" in my house. It's not the "lost week" because I didn't get any of my to-do-list done or didn't achieve anything or go anywhere. It's the "lost week" because of the heavy numbness I've felt. Numb because I firstly couldn't comprehend how a city, such as Toowoomba, could be inundated with water. Numb when Hubby called to say creche couldn't contact me and that he was on his way to pick up Miss Flea as the centre was closing due to the unpredictable weather conditions. The urgency in his voice made me nervous as he's usually Mr Cool, Calm & Collected. Numb when Hubby still wasn't home after an hour when he only had to drive from The Valley to Wilston to Alderley. Completely and gut wrenchingly numb over the next few days as the enormity of this disaster unfolded and the reality of it began to sink in. Numb when strongly accused by a good friend that I didn't care about what was happening around me ... or so she thought. Numb when I read about babies being ripped out of mother's arms by the raging torrent and husbands watching their family being washed away in the flood waters.
I just can't function properly when I feel so helpless and overwhelmed. If I've tried to tidy the kitchen bench once this week, I've probably tidied it 100 times. I've shifted piles of paper on the computer desk from one end to the other and then back again. There is a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded and ironed, yet I haven't been able to tackle it, even though I've been home with plenty of time to do it. I just can't focus and concentrate. This must be my way of coping with the disaster occurring around me. I've spoken to a few friends and they feel similarly. The whole flood crisis is quite surreal for us perched on our northside hills, with no threat or view of flood. We know it's nearby, walking distance even for some, yet we haven't seen it firsthand. We're taking the advice from the emergency services and staying away. I feel as if I do need to see what damage the flood has caused to my city to truly take it all in. My kids would probably understand what's happened a lot better if they could see it first hand and maybe my little boy would not be so nervous about going to visit his auntie in Dalby one day. He thinks it floods there all the time and he will drown! There was a good letter in the Courier-Mail's Viewpoint section today which comes close to how I feel about needing to see my city.
"Holding the City's Hand"
I have to take offence at the word "rubberneckers" that is being thrown around regarding people who go to look at the river in flood.
Rubberneckers are people who ghoulishly slow down to look at accidents and other people's misery. As long as we are not in the way of rescue and emergency workers, we have every right to see "our" Brisbane and mourn what is happening to her.
It's like visiting a friend in hospital and just sitting with them. After all, when the last official act is done, we are the people who will breathe life back into her."
Trish O'Bolger - Upper Mt Gravatt
Well said Trish!
Something that's helped bring a smile to my face this week has been some of the amazing photographs taken of animals surviving the floods. Spare a thought for those animals who weren't able to be rescued or make it to higher ground. I think this post on the Courier-Mail website sums it up beautifully.
Catherine of Toowoomba Posted at 1:18 PM January 14, 2011
It is so easy to forget the ones in a flood that cannot speak for themselves, whilst it is a human tragedy, it is also an animal one. It makes me cry to think of the animals that call for help and none comes, but then it does make your heart soar with the ones that are saved and live on.
|What's all the fuss about dog.|
|Yes, a cow on the roof at Booval.|
What a photo! You'd do the same, wouldn't you?
Stay safe folks & happy walking wherever you may be.