It's now been exactly one week since I heard from my mom.
I thought I had a good lead on which shelter she and my little brother may have gone to. All hope was pinned on Hattiesburg. My aunt Lorraine in Alabama finally got through to that shelter and they told her my mom had not been there. Now drifting away, all that hope needs a new home. My aunt Susan left earlier today to see what she can see. My aunt Lorraine left a little later to see what she can see. They're going into a no man's land of confusion and disarray and doubt. A Court of Two Sisters.
It's as if they're going into a different dimension, a black hole. Will they return? And if so, will they be bearing good news or bad? Will they tell me we need to rebuild my mom's meager home, but that she's healthy and safe? Or....
I can't think of the "or" for very long right now.
My aunt Lorraine begged me to stay put until she gets back on Wednesday. I don't think I'm physically able to obey. This is what I think: I think I grab my girl and we fly into Birmingham as early as possible. We rent an SUV and purchase extra gas cans, water, flashlights, clothing, food, a chainsaw and a gun. In Alabama, I should be able to get all that at your average convenience store. Maybe even in the airport gift shop.
Then I grab my girl and all this stuff and we descend into Mississippi and start going from shelter to shelter, looking for my mom and little brother, making our way deeper into the state, and closer to home, until we find them and live happily ever after.
Because at this point I have less than no faith that my government can take care of my people. This is it, friends. It's every man for himself, and no lifelines out of the black hole in modern America. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, a faith-based relief effort as soon as vacation's over.
So, it looks like Monday night or early Tuesday morning I'll be heading for my Gulf, to see what I can see.