August 13, 2016 was when it happened. The rains came, the river rose, and we lost everything.
I began weeping as we drove through our devastated city. I began sobbing as we turned onto our street. By the time we forced the back door open and I got my first look at my home and the chaos and devastation the flood waters had left, I was fully hysterical. TWH held me up as I clutched at him scream-sobbing at what lay before me.
We spent a full week cleaning out and gutting our home. Trying to salvage what we could.
The water took everything but it gave me so much too.
It gave me the friends who took us in without question or reservation. Who watched the crackhead dogs without complaint and rearranged their lives to make ours easier those first few weeks. Who made their home feel like our home. Who introduced me to a little blonde haired, blue eyed boy that I fell madly in love with and would do my dead level best to see every single night. Because bedtime was at 7:30 and he gives the best goodnight hugs.
It gave me the friends who, after I posted a picture of a house in my flooded neighborhood with the caption “SO…. This happened…”, immediately came together and flooded my inbox with messages of support and love. Articles on what to save and how. The name of my contractor (who was an absolute Godsend). My home is filled with the little happies that were sent to me in the mail and given to me in person.
It gave me an army of women who rallied around me and propped me up when I didn’t think I could stand on my own. Cheerleaders who cried with and celebrated with me. Who treated every milestone like the major accomplishment I thought it was.
It gave me the gift of Love and Support. People I have known for years, people I barely knew, and complete strangers on these here Interwebz offered words of love and encouragement along the way.
It gave me the knowledge that I CAN HANDLE SHIT. I may not do it well, or with grace, but I CAN do it. I can do the hard stuff. I can push through the tears and sore muscles and the exhaustion. I can make ALL the decisions (TWH currently lives in NC. Being a decision-making committee of one has it’s perks here) and that they WILL be the right ones.
It has shown me that I am so very fortunate in who I have in my life.
So while the water took away all I had, it left me with so much more.
It left me with a very strong sense of my Tribe and my Family.
For that I am humbled and grateful.