posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 09:39 PM
I’ve always said that everything happens for a reason, and only good can come of it. I lived my life by that mantra, and tried as hard as I could to
pass on that thought pattern to those around me. I watched that mantra change people’s lives for the better, and I watched relationships grow an
flourish because of it.
But I also remember the ONE time that I had the hardest time holding on to that. Though, in my heart I knew that those words held truth, at least for
me, I really had a hard time convincing others, and there were moments that I began to doubt them myself, at least in regards to this horrific,
devastating and catastrophic event.
Five years ago , April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded killing 11 men, and setting into motion a series of events that would test the
skill, intellect, determination, and faith of thousands, if not millions that were affected by it.
The first two months were just the beginning.
I worked in a call center, processing insurance claims. Less than a month after the explosion, we had hired 150 additional employees to handle the
calls that were coming in. BP had contacted my company to handle some of the calls, and we were fielding almost 3000 calls a day. For most of us that
had been working there, it was a bit of a slap in the face. The “new” reps were making 1 and a half times what us “regular” employees were,
and it sucked. Some of us were bitter and angry. I myself had to remind myself of the belief I lived by, even if it was hard to see at that moment.
But then, the reps handling these calls started relating the stories of heartbreak and heartache. We didn’t envy them much after that. It was a hard
job to do, and it wasn’t surprising that a fair number of people couldn’t hack it.
I spent a good part of my evenings after work reading up and trying to stay current on what was happening, and what could happen. Many evenings I went
to sleep with a heavy heart, and hoping that none of the worst case scenarios ever came to pass.
The hardest four weeks of my life started at the end of July.
One name many will never forget: ALEX.
Alex came barreling through the Gulf waters with unprecedented strength. It churned that mess of oil and methane and Corexit into a sludge that would
wreak its havoc for nearly 500 miles.
Hurricanes were usually a blessing for us in the claims processing department, it meant work, it meant overtime, and for some of us it meant that
we’d be able to pull ourselves a little further out of the financial pit that we’d be driven into.
I’d worked in the data entry department as an administrator triaging claims for four hurricane seasons, so I had pretty much seen it all, hail,
wind, water damage claims.
I remember watching the storm warnings on The Weather Channel. I watched as the broadcasters braved the storms, being pelted with the hardest winds,
hails and rains that had been seen since Katrina.
After the southern states took a beating, Alex headed up the east coast into my neck of the woods.
The worst nightmares had come to pass. Fear-mongers reveled in their ability to say “I told you so”.
There was so much devastation from the hurricane, but it wasn’t enough that we were coated in this oily muck that stunk and burned your eyes and
nostrils, filling your mouth with the awful taste of ancient death, but the lightening storms that followed set everything in its path ablaze, fueled
by the black gold we had become so dependent on, burning faster and brighter than anything any of us had ever seen. I was thankful for just the rain
in the end.