In true Chicken Little fashion, this week in Hawaii, where I live, there was a scary but supposedly false ballistic missile threat that woke people up or terrified them at the store and farmer’s markets. It has since made international news, to great disgrace to whoever was responsible.
Around 8 AM, after having worked the night before and exhausted, my phone on silent, a very annoying and scary emergency buzzing sound erupted from my phone next to my bed. I slowly rolled over, pulled on my glasses and checked the message. Ballistic missile incoming to Hawaii. Take shelter. This is not a test.
I put the phone back on my side table, put my glasses down and pulled the covers back up. I lay there for some minutes, thinking, well crap. Maybe this is what Mike was talking about all these years with the end of the world scenarios. Maybe he really did know something that was going to happen.
In my heart though, somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to believe it. Later I heard people at local stores and farmer’s markets who all received the alert at the same time were absolutely terrified together. I am glad I wasn’t in a crowd when it happened. My boyfriend was in the other room sleeping that night since we had different hours, and I debated waking him up. But why? To go where? I didn’t know of any bomb shelter (and this has become a heated topic around here.) So maybe this was just how we were going to go.
So I lay there, drowsy, slipping back into sleep while memories of my life flooded through my brain. Good memories. Happy memories. Gratitude that I had had Mike in my life. Love for my family. And feeling ready to be taken out in a flash. At peace somehow. But mostly just tired.
A little over a half an hour later another alert came in. False alarm. Disregard previous alert. I read it with a little chuckle. Though elsewhere, I learned again later, people’s relief was much more profound.
Had I missed something? Was it just being alone in my bed? Was it that I was at peace with my life? Was my sense of disbelief just really that strong? When the sky really would fall one day, would I not believe it, a la the Chicken Little tale?
What really happened, we might not ever know. Was it human error like they claim? The outrage here is palpable, and with that, I agree. It’s a horrifying thing to put millions of people through.
Mike was obsessed with emergency preparations and survival tools and techniques. We had a shelter’s worth of supplies when he was alive. I mean some seriously crazy stuff. But now, after five years, after losing him but not civilization, I have parted ways with most of it.
I kept enough. I kept enough not to be left in the cold if the long emergency ever came to pass. But in my heart, a big part of me has no interest in surviving the way Mike imagined we might have to, without him.
So maybe that was it, my complacent disregard for this terrifying event this week. Without him, survival in that kind of scenario just seems futile. I’d rather move on from this mortal coil, and that is not meant to sound despondent. Just realistic, and with a sense of peace.