This flood, this thing, this storm, this hurricane called Harvey has been beyond anything I could have imagined. I understood Houston was flooded, devastatingly flooded.
I get a call from my sister-in-law and the first thing she says is, you talked to your mom?! My heart drops. It starts to beat faster by the minute. I say, a few days ago, why?
She says, your parents had to rescued. I say, what?! Yes, your parents had to be rescued. Mind you, my parents are in Orange, Texas, two hours away from the madness of Houston.
I understood they would get some rain, but nothing like this. Our house has never been flooded in all my years growing up there. CNN reporting live reveals my hometown neighborhood submerged in floodwater.
My brother had heard from some others at a local church shelter that my parents were there, and that they were ok. Not surprisingly, their phones had no power.
Barely two days before this chaos ensued, my mom told me there was water in the backyard, though nothing out of the ordinary. A little sitting water along the back fence.
We were hoping that my brother and his family could get out of Houston and head to my parents house in Orange. Luckily, they headed to his wife’s dad’s ranch in Central Texas.
I am in Dallas and I feel so helpless. Deep in my gut, I trust that they are ok. My parents are fighters and they don’t give up easily. I hear word from a cousin that my parents will call us as soon as they can charge their phones.
They will be going to my aunt’s house in Louisiana until the storms settles.
Later, as I talk to my mom, she confirms all of the above. The house in underwater. She says, “Justin, you’ve never seen anything like it. I am on the countertop. As I look out the front window, there is darkness, and a rising water line against the windows. As you look out, on every side, you are surrounded by a sea of water.”
When Hurricane Rita hit, we lost all our trees but the house was spared. This time, nearly everything, including new cars, have been lost. You can’t help but wonder what it all means.
Yet, my parents remain the optimists they are, and have always been. I am comforted by knowing they are ok, and more than that, they know they can rebuild. Luckily, they were able to save a few precious photo albums with my baby and childhood pictures. Of course that was long before iCloud.
In all this, I am grateful. I realize that this is all fragile. So I hold it loosely—I keep the most important things in view. We have a long way to go. A long way. Yet in our years of living, in my years of living, I know that what we need will be provided. That’s my belief. It has always been true. Answers always arrive.
This trial is no different. This too shall pass, just like the storm, and the sun will shine again, the grill will fire up again, and we’ll gather once more at the place I call home.