September 24th, 2016.
Assessing the damage from the outside I could see where the waterline once was as it stained the top of the roof, meaning not too long ago this home was fully underwater. The inside of the home looked like a bomb went off, the walls had already been torn down, there was mold crawling on the ceiling and old washed out photo albums that gave a haunting feeling of nostalgia for a family I didn’t even know.
The owner of the home was telling me of how they had been in that home for over 30 years and have survived many floods in it, but none this bad. Yet, he refused to move because this was HIS HOME. You could feel his pride reigning from his small withering hands.
He explained to me that there was a small flood earlier that year back in March. That him and his wife tore apart and redid the flooring, bought all new furniture, and had both been in and out of the hospital due to respiratory issues from mold that often comes with floods. But, he said they kept going, they put time, energy, love and a whole lotta money into this home.
The flood that had just passed came in on a Friday in August, he said that week they had finally finished repairing everything from the March flood, but as he said that, the energy shifted, heaviness is what I felt as his voice cracked and a storm of tears came rolling down his face as he finished his sentence, “by Tuesday we were all moved back in, my wife had never been happier and by Friday, it was all gone, all of it.”
To see an old man with so much pride breakdown was heartbreaking to say the least, I felt completely helpless.
Honestly, if you’ve gotten this far, idk exactly why I’m sharing this, there’s no meaningful message or cliche happy ending. I think it was just the emotion/reality of it all that has stuck with me. It’s easy to get caught up and lost in our own minds, dramas and struggles, and I’m no different, I find myself here often. I think it’s why I like to hold on to these moments, these RAW, unfiltered, humbling moments that bring tremendous gratitude but also bring me back to reality with a reminder that life, along with everything we’ve built in it can be taken away in an instance.