Harvey. Oh, Harvey. I feel like this storm is now a defining moment in the lives of everybody that endured it. There will be the life before Harvey and the life after Harvey. I hope that in the days and weeks to come the people continue to find the good in other people and the situation. I hope they remember how our communities pulled together and loved so well. I hope they remember the countless hours upon hours of community service that our neighbors have sacrificed in order to rescue and rebuild. I hope after the pain and fear from the storm continues to subside they can see the blessings brought forth by the storm. I hope they will always remember that you can’t do life alone, so love your neighbors – all of them; always. I hope that as houses get rebuilt people not only regain a sense of home and security, but forever cherish how fragile life is and how each new day is truly a blessing. I hope that my boys never stop playing water rescue with their cars and airplanes and never stop talking about how daddy is out helping people. When they play they are acting out what they see – and this storm has let them see their daddy in a whole new light. I hope that as people drive through neighborhoods and see piles and sometimes mountains in people’s front yards they have compassion. I hope that they remember that even though it is “stuff”- it is someones life. I hope they remember that among the carpet padding and wood floors there are precious photos, handmade masterpieces from their children, baby books, a child’s favorite toy, great grandmas heirloom china, and so on and so forth. I hope that they remember that yes ‘stuff’ is replaceable but some of it was not stuff, some of it made up a small piece of their soul, a memory so special, that it can never physically replaced. I hope that this storm has changed you as it has changed me. I hope you are walking on the other side a little more broken, but a little more stronger. I hope that you continue to be the best ‘yes’ you can be to others in need of help or just a hug. I hope that you continue (or start) to count your blessings every night – you truly honestly never know when life will shift. I hope that each and every day you tell your loved ones that you love them. I hope that you show grace to your neighbors, whether it be in traffic or as they work on home repairs – give them grace – we are all just trying to find our new normal. I hope that if you didn’t already love Texas, Mattress Mack and JJ Watt that you do now. Lastly, I hope that you have a renewed hope – in yourself, in your future, in the world. Harvey will not be the last storm in your life. The next storm you endure may or may not be another hurricane. Maybe it will be loss of a loved one or a job. Perhaps a big move in life or an emotional roadblock. Always remember who you are and where you have come from. Without some rain, you will never have a rainbow. Pray, endure, grow, change.
You spun up in the gulf, just as quick as it could be,
With a bullseye on the Texas coast, headed straight for my friends and me
All the models showed you growing, and dumping lots of rain,
you’d thought you’d get the best of us, and drive us all insane
As you slowly came ashore, we all watched your true devastation,
You showed us all your strength, but we’ll overcome it without the slightest trepidation
Not the power outage nor the flood, and your wind surely was no match
As we came together as Texans, and the hospitality bug did we catch
Our friends, our family, and neighbors, we are all one in the same,
you won’t break our spirits in the slightest, this is just a part of life’s game
Deep into the night, the volunteers came in droves,
driving our small john boats through the neighborhoods, and all their intricate coves
With a full boat of people, and the 90 HP Mercury chugging along in the flood, it didn’t matter who we were saving, we all came from the same blood
When the times got the toughest, we just looked up to the sky,
and whether it was raining or it was sunny, we smiled without a sigh
All was going to be ok, with all of us on the same team,
we are stitched together like the Texas flag, and we wouldn’t break a seam
Once the flood waters recede, I’m sure you’ll still hear your name,
but it will be because of the great human nature, and not your selfless sought after fame
We are friends helping friends, not asking for anything in reply,
just knowing that if there’s an issue, we just raise our hands into the sky
You see you don’t mess with Texas, we’ll stand up hand to hand,
Like if you were the devil down in Georgia, in the song by the Charlie Daniels Band.
I will give you only one thing, you were a test for us for sure,
but nothing a helping hand, a human heart, and a Texan cannot cure!
-Poem by my talented and loving husband, Andrew
On a lighter night, right before Harvey hit I returned from an Epic 2 week road-trip and I cannot wait to share it with you!