I've tried to write this post three or four times now and somehow I just can't find the right words. How do you describe the feeling of helplessness and fear in your gut when you realize that every possession you've ever owned may be swept away from you in the next 28 hours? And more than that, that your life and the life of those you love are suddenly in jeopardy. How do you describe the gut wrenching nausea that hits you when you realize you may have to choose between saving yourself and saving your helpless, beloved pets?
The only thing that has overpowered the intense feelings of confusion and helplessness in the last few days have been a sense of awe, pride, and hope in people. Though I don't like to admit it I'm a bit of a pessimist. I try to see the good in people but it's not something I do naturally, I have to actively think about it. But in the last few days it has been incredibly easy to see the good. I've seen so many acts of kindness that it brings tears to my eyes. The selflessness with which people are coming together right now is something I never even imaged could exist in my community. From complete strangers rescuing each other in flood waters, to people in other states caravanning in to lead rescue teams in their personal boats, to neighbors offering up the second stories of their homes, to my family and I being taken in by family friends a town over.
The amount of good coming out of this situation is so much more powerful than the bad. However, I am under no delusions that it's easier for me to say that right now because I was able to evacuate and so far, though projected otherwise, our street has not flooded. So I might be able to go home in a few days once the water begins receding and go back to a relatively normal routine. Some people have not been nearly as fortunate.
What a lot of people, mostly those who have never been in a situation like this, don't understand, is that this doesn't just end when it stops raining. The Brazos River overflow doesn't just dry up over night so that everything can go back to normal. The sun might be back out this afternoon, but the water remains and will remain for days in some places. Possibly weeks. Those watching news stories from states away, from the comfort of their clean, dry homes will almost surely forget this even happened as soon as the social media and news reports decide Hurricane Harvey is old news. But the people who lost their homes in the last week don't get to just stop dealing with it because it's "over". For them it won't be over for a long time, or possibly ever. The devastation that an event like this causes is unimaginable to most.
I am California born and have never identified as a Texan, never wanted to. But after what I've seen in the last few days, I tell you what, I'm proud to be a Texan. I am proud to be associated with this state and it's many, many selfless people. My social media feeds are full of people asking for help right now and even more people offering it. It's incredible.
With so much devastation I'm not sure yet where we go from here. This is far from over. The sun may be out today, but the water is still there and the Brazos is still rising. What I do know is that we will all continue to come together as friends, neighbors, and yes, Texans to help each other through this. And without a doubt, we will rise stronger than ever.
Below are some ways you can donate to the flood victims. Please consider donating or even volunteering in some way. I promise you won't regret it and you'll make a HUGE difference in the lives of people who really need love right now.
Donate to River Pointe Church HERE!
Purchase the Texas charm from James Avery HERE!
Purchase the Texas Forever shirt from Magnolia HERE!
Donate to the Red Cross HERE!
Purchase a Pimpin Joy t shirt from The Shop Forward HERE!
Currently all proceeds go to flood victims in Texas.