My whole body is feeling the pain of Harvey. I wish I was just talking about my hip I hurt mudding out a house or my head that is killing me from all of the wet, moldy life- piles in front of every house. But, no, I am talking about my body of people that I love. They are all feeling the pains of this super storm that shook us all up and then dropped us like so many pick-up sticks. Lives are now scattered and jumbled and tangled. Everyone is trying to find a way to pick through the mess that is left in a way that gets us all past this.
There is my friend who recently found herself single through no choice of her own. She spent an entire night by herself in her house trying to keep drains clear and water out of her house. And, she did it. All by herself. But, I could hear the exhaustion in her voice the next morning and it hurt me. Later, help came for her in the form of her son and his friend in a jacked up truck. That night she slept and he kept watch.
Another friend watched the waters win the battle and come into her house. There was no reprieve. It happened. Now, her memories, her belongings, and her normal are all piled beside the road and dripping dirty water. Her Facebook posts have been an equal mix of shock and jubilance. Jubilance because church family came through the door when she needed it most. They came with gloves and boots and brooms. They tore out her sheet rock and hauled her furniture to the curb. They filled trash bags with family pictures and Christmas decorations. They were Jesus with a little Chip Gaines thrown in.
It has been like that all week. Intense pain caused by watching someone you love going through something unthinkable and then some measure of relief as their needs get met. You’re just so happy somebody showed up for them. That a band-aid was applied. It doesn’t matter what form the help takes.
For Richard and I, it was neighbors who faithfully sent us pictures of the water creeping up our yard while we were miles away. Close was ok. Another inch was bearable. Not knowing wouldn’t have been.
And, when we finally got to come home, walked through our back door and realized that normal still lived in our own little house we cried. Well, I cried. Richard cleaned up the yard.
Then, we got busy.
Right now in Houston, you can’t sit by and watch everyone else hurt. You have to get involved. You have to do something.
Rescue people on boats, slap together sandwiches, organize relief efforts or, like my favorite rescue worker I’ve met so far, show up to a flooded house pulling an ice chest full of popsicles and ice cream and beer.
Cover your bases. Have a band-aid ready for whoever you might meet. In whatever form they might need it. Do what you can do until our body stops hurting.