Over the past few weeks I have learned how to accept help from others like I have never had to before. On August 13, 2016, my family of four, like many others in the Baton Rouge area, was evacuated from our home by boat due to rising flood waters. I rarely am at a loss for words but I have found that over the past few weeks, I have struggled to put into words exactly how I feel. As I began reflecting on the past few weeks, the one thing I kept thinking about is how thankful I am for people near and far reaching out to my family. So here are a few thank yous from me to you:
To the good Samaritans who took it upon themselves to begin rescuing people when the water started to rise, thank you. You saved my family as well as many others. You are all heroes. You also managed to make it not quite so scary for my kids, and this Mama Bear is very thankful.
To the friends and family housing us during this crazy and difficult time of our lives, thank you. You are moving your life around to make room for us. We see it, we are thankful.
To the friends and family from far away sending money, gift cards, etc. to our families, thank you. We are so thankful that you took time out of your day to send some love our way. Seeing that we have people far away thinking and praying for us gives us hope for our future.
To our friends and family that show love by cooking and feeding us, thank you. In this moment of our lives, we sometimes forget about the basic needs and you showing up with meals lets us worry about one less thing.
To those of you who remembered our smallest victims of the Great Flood of 2016, sending toys, cards, and baby dolls, thank you. These little people need distractions. They need to know that one day they will have normal again and you helped them get a little sense of normal back.
To the people we have never met who have brought their community together to help us, thank you. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from people who have never met me or my family personally.
To the survivors of previous disasters who reached out to offer words of hope and understanding, thank you. To hear other people’s stories about survival after Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes, and other natural disasters shows me that my family will be okay. Our community will be okay – we will rebuild!
This process of recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. I know we still have a long road ahead of us but being surrounded by people like you, I know we are going to be okay. Thank you for your kind words, your thoughts, and your prayers. Baton Rouge will be back better than ever. Soon we will be back to our large family meals, crawfish boils, beer and Mardi Gras. But until we get there, thank you for your kind words, thoughts, love, support, gifts and prayers.