Mount Pleasant Magazine Nov/Dec 2023

47 | | the worse. Our cell service then ceased. All communication stopped. No internet, no phone service, no texting. We were cut off from civilization, literally. We each watched the little number on our mobile devices as it slowly crept downward indicating less and less battery power. To compound the experience, car gas tanks were blowing up in the distance. Boom… Boom…Boom. You could hear the explosions as this fiery beast enveloped these family vehicles. It sounded like bombs in a battlefield, one after the other, slow and steady. My eyes opened in the dark, warm, oddly silent room. I shot out of bed and made my way to the balcony, expecting the fires to be extinguished. My jaw dropped wide open. Not only had the fires not ceased, they were massive, gigantic pillars of deep, red flames. This was an inferno. I stood there in awe and shock. I prayed over Noah, Hannah and Greg and asked their guardian angel to protect each one of them as we navigated this dark, unknown, hot, unspeakable night. We prayed for the men and women out there trying to protect our surroundings. As the next evening approached, all of our situations just grew worse — a lot worse. No elevators. No power. Not even the generator in the lobby to charge a few lucky cell phones for their flashlight feature. This was getting way too uncomfortable. As in any bad situation, there is always a silver lining. The stars were out. God graced us with this heavenly glow. When God closes a door, he always opens a window. Awe and wonder were elicited, a welcome blessing for sure. By the next day, the fires had largely ceased. One sliver of road was now open, and we jumped on the escape opportunity. Everything in Lahaina was gray and black. Buildings were hollowed out. Smoke was smoldering. It looked like the apocalypse. Four days later, our rescheduled flight could finally depart. We were more than ready to conclude our Hawaiian dream vacation. We taxied down the tarmac. Trays stowed, seatbelts on, seats in the upright position. When we finally took off in the air and the wheels were tucked under the plane, that’s when I cried. I could not stop the tears rolling down my cheeks as the flight attendant came down the aisle asking what drink we would prefer. All I knew was that Row 5 had four healthy, safe family members and we were headed to the mainland. I peered out the window trying to get one last glimpse of Lahaina, the people, the memories that will be forever cemented in my mind. God bless all those that suffered, volunteered, lost and were found. I gave thanks to God and thanked him for his many blessings. our town The Lewis family.