Irma’s Choices

It’s been a harrowing week. For those in southwest Florida –ALL of Florida –we are now kindred spirits. I don’t believe anyone who didn’t go through the lead up, and clean up, of Hurricane Irma, will truly be able to understand the range of emotions that accompanied this event.

First, there was the all-important Go/No-Go decision. Everyone has their story –how they decided, when they decided, where they went, how they got there. But make no mistake –these were not easy choices. To leave your home, possibly your family, or to stay when the media is bombarding you with constantly-changing information, is no simple task. Particularly when words like “catastrophe” and “life-threatening” are being thrown around with frightening regularity.

Then, there was “where”?? One minute Irma was heading up the East Coast and staying in the Atlantic, and the next, was tracking up the Gulf of Mexico. East, West, Central –nowhere in the state of Florida, and much of the southeast, was completely outside the path of this massive storm.

You can imagine all the stories –the treks to Atlanta that ended with no power for three days; the eighteen-hour drives with two inlaws, three cats, and a can of gas; the flights through four airports before arriving at your destination; apartments full of family and friends and even strangers. Everyone has their story and each one is unique and special.

And each one could have turned out quite differently. “Go” instead of “stay”, Montgomery instead of Atlanta, a hotel room in Orlando instead of your friends’ mother’s house near Ocala.

That is what we are obsessed with at Dōjini –what if our heroine had made that other choice? There would be plenty of emotion and excitement and maybe even danger either way.

But just like with Irma, when the debris is swept away, the flooding subsides and the lights are back on, we will all find our happy ending.

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