Late last Thursday my brother Jeff called and let me know that conditions were good to start working towards the rebuilding process for my parents in Houston so I went to Lowes, bought supplies and headed to Texas. Hurricane Harvey rained down and flooded their house with over five feet of water causing them to lose pretty much everything material in their world. Luckily my brother and sister escaped damage by a narrow margin which is a great thing as they are now able to focus on helping my Mom and Dad.
On my drive down I couldn’t help but reminisce about the Joplin tornado in 2011 that killed 158 people so I was somewhat prepared. (If you’re interested in that, you can read about it HERE.) Truth is, nothing can really prepare you for this kind of thing. When I first drove into my hometown of Kingwood things looked pretty normal. Flood waters had receded and many stores looked open for business. Then, I made it to the areas that were hit the hardest like my parent’s subdivision and there it was again; total devastation. House after house that looked normal from the outside, but totally wrecked on the inside. Not unlike many of the homeowners.
The Quinn’s reached out to their network using Facebook to rally troops and start the demolition process. We are racing the clock in a way because if you let moisture sit for long, mold begins to grow and then you have a much bigger problem. Out goes everything in the house including every stick of furniture and the stuff in every drawer. Then you begin tearing out dry wall, wood floors in every room, cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms, removing nails from the studs, and tearing the doors off their hinges.
I know that this is a horrible thing for people to have to go through but like anything it isn’t what happens to you, it is how you react to what happens to you. What impact are you going to let it have on your life? For our family, here are a few things that we are left with.
- We have the best family and friends in the world. I can’t tell you how many people sent us a text or gave us a call to check on how the Quinn’s were doing. Not only that but we had close to 75 different people over four days come to my parent’s house in work clothes; gripping a crow bar. Keep in mind that this was shit work and I mean literally. Sewage water that reeked so bad that at certain moments you could barely finish your task. That didn’t stop people from showing up and coming back. People from my family’s church (including one of the priest), a handful of Mattress Firm employee’s that worked with my father, brother, and sister, high school friends, neighbors and best of all complete strangers. When you have that kind of support and love from that many people, it’s very overwhelming.
- I had breakfast with my family the day I left Houston and my mom started to cry so I asked her what was wrong. She said that she was embarrassed at how much stuff she had accumulated over the years with four closets full of clothes and drawers packed to their limit. Her takeaway… WHY???
- Thank God my parents were smart with their money and can absorb this. They didn’t have flood insurance, and neither did 80% of the people in Houston that were hit by this stupid hurricane. You know what they say about planning for a rainy day? They weren’t kidding. I wonder how many people are going to be financially ruined after this.
My Dad and Mom are two of the kindest, most generous people I know with their time and treasure. They have loaned several family members money when in need, donated their time to various organizations, and invested in just about everyone that crosses their path. They are authentic, godly people and truly care about others. It is because of this that so many were there for them this last week. As I walked around each day thanking people for being there to help, the reaction that I got was, “Are you kidding?”
On behalf of the Quinn’s we want to thank all of you who helped at the house, sent a text, placed a call, or said a prayer because it has made an impact. To say that my parents are profoundly grateful to you doesn’t even come close to what they are feeling right now.
Let’s continue to rally around Houston and brace for what is coming to the east coast. Based on what I saw in Texas last week, they are going to need everything we can offer!
PS: If you or anyone you know is having trouble dealing with the hurricane on an emotional level, Betterhelp.com is offering three months of FREE online counseling to those affected by the storm. Do not hessitate, reach out and see if they can help!