As a Texan who has never experienced a hurricane and its aftermath, I was unprepared for the devastation I saw in Houston. Driving down the street you see people’s entire lives in their front yards. Water doesn’t care if something is one of a kind or full of memories, it destroys all things in its path. People didn’t just come home to have to rip out their walls and floors, they came home to have to throw out pictures of loved ones, heirlooms from those no longer with them, and the little things that made their house a home. Those going through this were happy to be safe, talked of how they still had their memories, but you could see the sadness and defeat deep down as they had to remove precious items from their houses one by one. Then you see them change, they square their shoulders and talk of how they will rebuild the neighborhood together. That is what people do down here: They take the hit and then get to work. They take it all in and then work together to start putting the pieces back together.
Neighbors helping neighbors.
In the time I spent in Houston, I saw good in people that I had not seen in a while. Neighbors opening up their homes to those who lost theirs’ or needed somewhere to stay while they rebuild. Food and water being dropped off in flooded neighborhoods to those cleaning out their houses. People helping complete strangers rip out sheetrock and flooring, moving destroyed heavy appliances, setting up fans and spraying to prevent mold. Everyone pitching in to help others however they were capable.
I know the news touched on the helping hands being extended during this time of need, and all those who were pitching in and donating time, items and money. I hope it gave us a brief look at the good that can be done when everyone works together to help each other out. Working together to rebuild is not a short-term task, it is a long-term commitment, and from what I saw from this group of Texans, they will be in it for the long haul.
For those of us not in the affected areas, we can take from this and look out for our neighbors nearby, whether a friend or stranger needing in some way and our extending a helping hand to them. All of us working together will create a strong and lasting foundation for our communities.
Vitality offers resources on the PowerofVitality.com to assist its members and their loved ones cope in the aftermath of a natural disaster.