The last flight out of Houston that day was ours. The airline cancelled two of its three scheduled flights, including the Phoenix one, and piled us all on a plane scheduled for Dallas. The airfield was deserted. I felt as though we were the last humans on earth. I had not been scared during that stressful drive from Galveston to Houston. Neither had I been scared as the shuttle bus battled through walls of water earlier that morning. But as the plane took off into the jaws of Hurricane Harvey, my stomach muscles contracted in fear. I could see from the window horrible scenes of flooded roads, parks and homes.
The pilot instructed all passengers and crew to stay in their seats. For most of the flight the plane bounced up and down and lurched from side to side. But the eeriest part of our escape journey from Houston was the total silence within the cabin. For that full hour we were in the air all 139 passengers were silent. Nobody uttered a single word or sound.
It was only when we landed safely in Dallas that we felt we could speak again. As we had left our luggage behind in Houston, our only mission was to run to find standby places for a flight to Seattle, our next destination. A couple of hours later we clambered on to another plane.
The only time I allowed myself to feel a tiny bit of self-pity was on that final flight from Dallas to Seattle. In my exhausted state, I somehow managed to whack my left eye painfully with the hard edge of my earphones. It was only then that the full reality of what we had lived through hit me. At any time during that drive from Galveston to Houston we could have been hit by flying debris, drowned while skidding along those flooded roads in the shuttle bus from the hotel to the airport or died if our plane from Houston could not withstand the force of Hurricane Harvey.
But more than anything I wanted to weep for the sweet and resilient Texans whose homes have been destroyed and who have lost everything, some even their lives. I was astounded by how Texans talked openly about trusting God while surrounded by such horror. I loved their optimism in believing that all would be ok. I admired their empathy and many kindnesses towards strangers, whether it was warm hugs from my friend in the hotel lobby, the quiet determination of Pedro to drive us safely through Biblical flooding or the steadfastness of the airline booking supervisor who, despite his own home being destroyed, was calm and smiling as he ensured that we were able to leave Houston on that plane to Dallas. I am in awe of this Texan ability to show such moral fortitude in the face of disaster.
The Left who dominate our post-liberal society continue to show the ugly face of humanity by crowing about Hurricane Harvey. As they sneeringly claim that Texas deserves this disaster because it is a Republican state, they forget one vital fact – that Texas is home not just to white wealthy Republicans but also to working-class whites, African-Americans, Hispanics and immigrants in the lower economic echelons of Texan society, and that they have been the most affected. They cannot afford home insurance, neither do they have the financial means to flee.
Most of the Texans I met, whether they were other hotel guests, cab drivers, airline staff, waitresses or hotel workers, were African-American or Hispanic. The Left’s vile political point-scoring around this natural disaster shows that they really do not care about the minority groups they purport to support. They are so consumed with hatred of others who do not share their political ideology that they cannot comprehend this truth. The Left’s reaction to Hurricane Harvey shows they have lost all compassion and reason, and are devoid of any of the humanity they delude themselves into believing they have.
After we landed in Seattle we still had another half day’s travel ahead of us to get home. When we finally stumbled through our front door, after being awake for 24 hours, my husband asked what had happened to my hair. When I looked in the mirror I saw that the entire front part of my very dark hair had turned white overnight.
This extreme response to stress can be fixed with a quick trip to the hairdresser. But Texas will need so much more than a quick fix. Sitting in my warm and dry house this morning, recovering after that long and arduous journey home, I am grateful. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to those kind strangers who helped guide and ensure our journey to safety. I am grateful to have met the wonderful Texans who truly are some of the sweetest people I have ever encountered.
But most of all I am grateful to have experienced the amazing human spirit in action. All too often we are ground down by the ugly side of humanity. What I witnessed was pure goodness and compassion. I will continue to hope and pray for the safety and recovery of the marvellous inhabitants of Texas.