I’ve been debating what to say the past few days. My family and I are safe and some of the fortunate few in the city of Houston and surrounding areas.
The past week seems like it has lasted a lifetime. I’ve seen friends lose it all and a good portion of our city is still underwater. From Kingwood to Deer Park and Katy to Beaumont, Texas was and is still affected.
I’ve been hooked to the news, crying while watching the various stories and wondering how my help can ever be enough.
My family will only be inconvenienced with different routes and local closings after the storm ends. Our local library and favorite Play place, Funky Monkey, closed for an indefinite amount of time due to extreme flooding. Most recently, we found out we need to stop using our water to shower, do laundry, and wash dishes. Again, these are minor inconveniences.
Others have lost their homes, belongings, family, schools, and some their hope of a safe and happy future here. Some may not go back for weeks or months.
The struggle here is real and for many has just begun.
It’s strange, because while my family and I are in this bubble of the fortunate, we are still seeing the effects of this storm daily, whether on Facebook, down the street, or on the news.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country has moved on.
I find it odd to read Hollywood gossip or see all the Facebook posts that have absolutely nothing to do with this Hurricane.
I’m sure this is how I’ve acted with past disasters not in my immediate area.
I’m sure I have posted, “Thoughts and Prayers” and moved on.
It hurts to see how unaware some people are and I didn’t even flood.
Learn from This
In the weeks and months to come, volunteers will go back to work. People will pick up their old habits and move on with life.
Others won’t be able to and will never be the same again.
I hope and pray we learn from this. I hope and pray this horrible catastrophe changes not only this state but this country. I hope we remember how well we can work together. I hope we solve disagreements while still recognizing our shared humanity.
I didn’t grow up in Texas. I will tell anyone I grew up in Arkansas and I will always call Fayetteville my hometown. Even though I love Fayetteville, I will always hold a special place in my heart for Texas.
I lived here when I was what, three or four? I don’t remember much outside of the comb our neighbor wore in her hair. We lived in Keller, outside of Dallas, and moved afterwards to Memphis and then finally to Arkansas.
Growing up, we would always travel to Texas for holidays. My parents, both from Dallas, had family in Dallas and Houston. My Momma and Daddy were and still are “those Texans” you hear of that are so full of pride, they boast about Texas everywhere they go, although they loved many other states they resided in as well.
I remember my friends mocking me in high school for our Texas-themed basement with a Texas mural showing the skyline of Dallas with a Texas flag on the ceiling and a cowboy welcoming you downstairs with a “Howdy, y’all” sign.
My Love Runs Deep
I’ve always been a “go against the grain” kind of person. I read Harry Potter 10 years after all my friends, was more liberal at Texas A&M, didn’t get an Aggie Ring when everyone else did, but got one a year after college. I will never say “I was never born here but I got here as fast as I can” but I will always have a deep deep love for Texas.
I met my love here. I had my precious children here. Most of my family is here.
This next few months will be hard for many. I’m so grateful for my moms’ groups which will allow me to actively support those who need it most directly in my area.
My Passion for Literacy
With my background in teaching and my passion in literacy and learning, I’m going to focus on helping schools in the next few months. If you’d like to contribute to my book drive to help rebuild local school libraries, you can donate to my youcaring fund. Or, you can buy books for your family, and your contribution will be matched 50% to get books in the hands of needy schools.