2019 Nine Months in the RearView
9 months ago we were flying home from Mexico after a week long celebration. My son had gotten married at a beautiful tropical resort. We were so happy and all was well. We were excited for all of the great things to come in 2019.
6 months ago today the Platte River raged and churned. After days of wondering if the worst would happen, it did. Mother Nature pushed water wide outside of her river banks and showed us we that can’t control her power. Our house filled with four feet of water. The entire disaster was surreal. The water stayed in our house for 7 days and then slowly crept away leaving behind a mess that has changed our lives forever.
I cried a lot. Chicken nuggets and words of encouragement from the man who passed out meals from the Salvation Army truck did me in. I cried when friends showed up to help, and when friends didn’t. I watched the men from our neighborhood come together to lift and move heavy things, reaffirming their strength and will. Then I watched them stand together and cry because they couldn’t protect their homes and families from destruction. We have all cried so much.
We stayed with our son and his wife for a month and destroyed any spontaneity that newlyweds might enjoy. I also fell and broke my arm–really bad timing– and made many trips to the Sarpy County Planning Office where I am definitely known amongst the staff-and not because they love me. Then my friend Jeanne offered her place for a few days and we got to experience the joy of a pot bellied pig named Bennie. He brought our old dog out of a depression and made us smile. I sat for hours on her deck watching him root around the yard and twitch his little tail. He was just what we needed.
I found a place to do laundry that became a strange little haven for me to write and connect. I’ve made friends there. A couple of men who were also affected by the flood call me “Writer Girl” and when we run into each other we talk about how things are progressing with their efforts to rebuild. They tell me about living in campers and having to go on anti-depressants and their frustrations, and sometimes we cry. LaundryVille has given me the opportunity to be part of the city that I would never have experienced in the past. There I’ve held babies so mom’s could fold, I’ve explained how to use the machines a hundred times, and I have met some fascinating people. It’s been a treasure trove of salty characters. I will always love that place.
5 months ago we were able to move back in to our house. The basement was gutted to the studs. The house still smelled like flood and I was sure it would never go away, but in time it did. When we came back home I closed the basement door and chose to ignore that part of our home, because that’s how I am. I am all in or all out.
4 months ago my son gave my husband croc’s for Father’s Day, another low for the year. I seriously thought those things were not coming back into fashion. Again, I was wrong. He loves them. Not the worst thing to happen in 2019, but not the best.
3 months ago I resumed doing readings and Reiki and Intuitive Coaching and got back into my healing groove. I am grateful to do the work.
2 months ago we went to Crested Butte, Colorado and my daughter got married high up on a beautiful mountain. It was magical and just what we needed to bring joy back to 2019.
1 month ago a construction dumpster was placed in our driveway again and a crew started to repair our house. There is noise and dust and strange men in my bathroom on a daily basis, but progress is happening. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
3 weeks ago I had to move the biggest dead fish ever. It was gross. I wrote about it in my last blog, you should read it.
2 weeks ago I met Terence Bud Crawford at Nebraska Furniture Mart. He didn’t have a choice in the interaction, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. He was gracious and friendly and it was a high point for me in 2019. I’m a huge boxing fan.
1 week ago I rode my bike down to the river and it was high again. The raging currents reminded me that there are others downstream that are dealing with water and in the coming weeks they will probably have flooding again. The water level in our lake is not high and we will be ok. It just never ever feels ok. I worry about the river all the time. I don’t know that I will ever trust it again.
Today reflecting on 2019 has been filled with so many emotions. I am grateful for so many good things, but I am also happy to have much of it in the rear view mirror.
If you reached out to us, or helped us during the past 6 months, or just loved us through this process we are forever grateful. We couldn’t have gotten through it alone. If we are together and I talk about the flood I will still cry, its just part of my human experience and that’s ok.
Many of you have already forgotten about it or assumed everything is back to normal and that we’ve all moved on because that is what we do. That’s just not true. We are ok, but many others remain homeless, or are living in campers or with family. Many are still displaced or are in the midst of rebuilding if the county and state have allowed it. Some have had to demolish their homes. Some are still under water. Many have issues with depression, PTSD or are just plain tired.
Please send them some love and support and when you have the opportunity to help, do it.
It does matter.
Every kind gesture has an affect on the world and we need one another to get through the hard times.