It’s been a long day. Honestly, I’m not sure where to start to write about what it’s like to walk with your mom into the house where she has lived for the last 45 years, knowing that 5 feet of water flowed through the house for 36 or so hours. Furniture is supposed to be obedient, and stay where it is asked to stay. In a flood, furniture and appliances get curious, and visit other rooms. Nothing is where it is assigned, and things that are supposed to be dry are wet. Very wet. And squishy.

I discovered that it is sort of fun, in a weird way, to pull up wet carpet. And knock holes in the walls for water to drain from with a pickaxe. I’m normally so well-behaved. The mess is overwhelming, really, and our team of my mom, husband, me, niece and her husband, had to meet at regular intervals to make a strategic plan for the next hour. There was just so much to handle and at some point, the surreality makes your brain take a vacation and go away for a while. Logical decisions can sometimes be tough when you’re looking at a wet pile of photos of you as a child.

During my childhood years, my parents made sure we were involved with our extended family. That time spent together as children paid forward today when my cousin and her daughter came over with an organizational attitude and scooped my mom up to help recover what was recoverable.

My niece and her husband contributed a sense of fun and strong muscles. We could never have gotten the drowned freezer out to the curb without either one.

We go back tomorrow. There are still mattresses to be discarded. Sheetrock to be torn out. Losses to be mourned. We will rebuild, and we are grateful to those who help us, and family who love us.