Shhhh! Ike Was Here

Since regaining the Internet, I’ve been wanting to post pics of Hurricane Ike’s “art work.” Alas, the storm must have slowed DSL service (or some such), I cannot upload pics to Blogger. It’s just as well, with all the images of total destruction coming from the East Texas Coast my daughter’s shots of jumbled suburbia could seem petty.

There was still no power at the church yesterday, so I decided to make some hospital calls. Gosh. Getting around Houston’s streets sans stoplights, among a million others, with a fuel shortage — E. T. C. — was taxing.

Then, I got to my first hospital stop. They had no power and were operating on generators. All entryways were locked except for the Emergency Room. In other words, everyone had to check in with the same personnel. The ER was packed, as it was doubling as the hospital’s Waiting Room. By virtue of my apparel I was allowed to visit a parishioner. First, they banded my wrist with an info tag, my name and the patient’s name and room number. As I made my way toward the ICU, I noticed hospital furniture all pushed together, seemingly at random; I had to go around sections that were taped off because, I assumed, of water damage. There were portable rotary fans everywhere and noticeably less blinking lights on hospital gadgets. Imagine lots of high tech equipment, everywhere … mostly dormant.

A couple of the registration gals said that when they saw me come in they thought I might have come for one of the families who’d just left. They’d had someone to die; it was traumatic. As I looked around at the wounded and the waiting, I understood what they meant. Here, in this one big holding tank, a family had learned that their loved one was gone. Under normal (modern) conditions, there’s special waiting rooms out by the ICU where information, and grief, such as this is shared. Here, after Ike, it was all on display. Raw.

My next call was at Hospice. They, too, were on generators; their elevators were out. It was quiet.

It was quiet.

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