The Silver Lining

I felt like I was running a marathon. My shaking arms and legs moved as fast as my escalating heartbeat. Waist deep through the water we ran, trying to reach the porch. I passed by my car, lights flashing and full of water.

This was not the Saturday afternoon I had envisioned.

As we made our way to the porch and entered the wetlands that were now our house, we also made our way through the mental checklist of items we needed to move upstairs as quickly as possible.

My parents’ wedding pictures: bottom drawer of the coffee table

Graduation pictures and childhood scrapbooks: right corner of the living room

Laptops and chargers: kitchen table

Family heirlooms and pictures: second drawer of the antique secretary

The list, and our trips upstairs, continued despite the rising water outside. The garage was a lost cause. We watched the refrigerator and various objects bob up and down with the four to six feet of water encapsulated in the garage’s space.

This was definitely not the Saturday afternoon I had envisioned.

There I stood, looking around our den and kitchen, with all of the memories from past holidays and fun family times flooding through my mind. I felt like I was losing a part of my childhood, but there was no time to sulk.

Back into the mysterious, murky waters we went, having salvaged all we could before the water got too high for us to stay in the house.

I held my jacket higher than the waist-deep sea I struggled through, trying to keep my phone dry. There was no point, though, we were soaking wet from the pouring rain, although I didn’t feel or notice it.

That night I looked out the window of my brother and sister-in-law’s house, praying for the rain to stop, hoping for things to go back to normal.

Flash forward a couple of weeks. I stood again in the den and kitchen, nothing but subfloor and studs. To the right there’s a hole in the floor of the living room to help the house dry faster. The refrigerator and stove in the middle of the unrecognizable kitchen block my view, but behind them a light shines through from the garage. I have to talk loud when having a conversation with my dad because the roaring of industrial-sized fans drying what’s under the house overpowers my voice.

But what a blessing it is.

Everyone in my family is safe. All of our meaningful possessions, such as pictures and books, have been dried and packed up. Our neighborhood, despite multiple houses having up to five feet of water in them, came together and continues to support one another. From ripping out carpet to delivering food to letting us stay at their homes, friends and family have shown an overwhelming amount of love and support.

You never dream of things like this happening to your family. You can’t really prepare for it. But when they do you realize just how strong your family is.

Despite all that has happened to our family within the past couple of weeks, the silver lining is shining bright.