We are all now wading through the debris, seeing what can be saved of our flooded homes. I pick up a destroyed picture of my son at two with a cast on his arm and the dam of tears burst. I gaze at all the cracked and blistered wood, the mold on the walls, the heaved floors and the bile rises. The smell is horrific. The filth from the water swirling around and broken dishes and ornaments from the force of the current give you goose bumps.
Other than a few plates, a cup or two and the platters, I am able to save most of my good dish set.
Three Regen’s bins were filled with the things we couldn’t save. Things we spent our whole lives accumulating. I bite my tongue holding back the screams and I watched my seven piece solid wood bedroom suite we saved so hard for land on the mountain of rubbish. The roll top desk, coffee tables, kitchen suite, dining room suite all decorating the landfill.
My little grandson, Conley, has changed his “grandma’s big house” to “grandma’s stinky dirty house”. His sorrow in seeing his grandma house toys being thrown away his heart wrenching. He always asks “when do we get to go back to your real house?”. It’s not looking promising.
Our government is of the opinion that our senseless losses do not need to be fully compensated. They paid 4x the value of the land to create the dam, but now only want to pay about a ¼ of the value of the destruction the same dam caused. They are giving what they deem necessary to live. This doesn’t include tools, microwaves, dishwashers, TV’s, hardwood floors, vehicles, Christmas trees and the list goes on. They are condemning houses that had water on the main floor and in some cases, the payout is not enough to buy an empty lot. So, what do we all do? Where do we restart and should we have to?
This whole ordeal has stripped us of our pride and taken away our sense of security. Do you know how hard it is to say sorry, but I have no money to pay that bill or ask for a food hamper?
I thank God for the people who do reach out, for helping to deal with the mess, and giving us things to make life more bearable. You have no idea how warm it makes you feel when a friend you hardly see comes over with an assortment of gift cards so you can take your grandson out for an ice cream. Or receiving a gift card to the spa from your daughter so that you can pretend life is normal for a couple of days. It’s really special when your son gives up his bed and sleeps on a cruddy old mattress or your daughter buys you shoes because yours all floated down the Souris? (I hope someone can use them!)
I thank God for little people, like Conley, who say “I love you to the moon and back, Grandma”. So I ask of all of you, if you know of any person suffering in any way, please reach out. Take them a casserole, invite them for a meal, give them a chair no one sits on. These things mean a lot. A phone call sharing the pain or a hug can help a person go on.