Excerpt from the book:

A grim reality lives here. It collects in puddles of sadness from all the tears falling from the gray skies. Dying dreams hang on the broken limbs of trees that once stood tall and proud, such as we are. Where we once heard the wind through the pines like a child’s lullaby, we now hear the crisp sound of the blue tarp cover flapping like wings of dragons that may swoop down at any given time to consume us.

I remember the lush green grass that once cushioned my bare feet and how I thought it would be here forever. It feels like that memory is being drowned with each raindrop that falls.

The sounds of all the birds announcing their busy day has long been replaced with the sounds of emptiness and screams of despair. Or maybe no one hears the screams. Are those sounds only heard in my own mind? I can’t seem to hear over the deafening silence.

Every day when I step outside my eyes tell me progress is being made but my heart and mind tell me we are mourning a loss. A funeral of sorts. Mourning and grieving the loss of the beauty of the land, of normality, of a life we once knew. Except there are always beautiful flowers at funerals and I can’t seem to find any here. One day the swamp of sadness will be but a memory, a chapter in the book that is my life. But for today the grim reality resides right here with me with no plans of leaving anytime soon.
 
© Erica McNabb Floyd, In the Eye of the Storm

In the Eye of the Storm: Stories of Survivial and Hope from the Florida Panahandle. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. All monies earned benefit the United Way of Northwest Florida Hurricane Michael Relief and Disaster Fund.