* I came across this partial post in my draft folder and am posting it 6 months later. *
The Nashville Flood. The Other Situation 2010 (the first situation being January's snowstorm). The 500 Year Flood. The Millennium Flood. These are a few names of what Nashville (and the 49 surrounding counties) have been calling what happened two weeks ago.
I am probably the last person with a blog to give an account. I do not plan to go much into the actual details and descriptions of what happened. There are countless blogs, articles, pictures, and songs that do an ample (and much superior) job.
Astoundingly, most of the country did not a.)know about it b.)know the severity of it. The city gave a collective cheer when Anderson Cooper came to cover the devastation. It's all most of us have thought about since it's happened.
Some parts of the city look as though nothing has happened.
Some parts look as if the whole block decided all at once to rip old carpet from their basements (our street).
And some parts look as if they are moving out of their houses...but instead of boxing up their belongings, they are throwing all their belongings away. ALL OF THEIR BELONGINGS.
This is where my heart is sitting right now. With those people who have nothing. This flood showed no economic favor. People with humble homes to people whose houses were filled with expensive things. They all lost everything. EVERYTHING.
This is the mantra in my brain. It's what I think about when I tuck my children in at night. What if their beds were gone? What if all their books were gone? What if their favorite blanket was gone?
And it's not like all of the things just disappeared. Families - moms, dads, children - had to come Back into their homes and physically pick up all the things that are dear to them...and throw them away. They had to sift through sludge, mud, excrement, and rats - to discard their treasures.
We had to rip up our basement floor and walls. It's annoying. My arms are sore and stiff today from scrubbing mold and dirt off of the cinder blocks. It's painful and monotonous. We will have to replace the floors and walls. It's not cheap.
We got off easy. We are being forced to go through our things and decide what to keep, throw away, or give away. DECIDE. So many people are not afforded the opportunity to decide.
So I am looking at our things with fresh eyes. Setting aside what we do not need for those who need everything. It's the least I can do. We may not have loads of money to give in the telethon. But we have our two hands. And we have stuff. STUFF. I am both disgusted by it, and grateful for it.