Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mom and Dad's House Flooded ~ Rosewood in Distress

Unless you follow me on Facebook, you haven't heard that my sweet mother and daddy were one of tens of thousands whose house flooded during Hurricane Harvey's wrath. Thankfully, they had evacuated before the flooding occurred. Last Friday was the first time they were able to go back into their home, a day we will never forget. 

Everyone says you should prepare yourself, brace yourself, understand that what you will see when you walk into a house that has been under two-feet of water for more than a week will not be pretty. I looked at dozens of photos that friends posted on Facebook. Some left me saying things like, “unbelievable” over and over. 

I thought I was prepared, but when you’re standing in the familiar doorway of the house that has been called home since 1970, the house we fondly refer to as Rosewood, and you see the devastation that is there, you realize there was no way to prepare for such a moment. 

Rosewood in all of her glory.
Hundreds of my friends, and tens of thousands of people across Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana, know what I mean when I say the first few days inside a flooded home are excruciating—long and grueling, hard on the mind, body, and soul, with moments so deep they cannot be expressed. If the destruction of a flooded home doesn’t humble you, and doesn’t bring out the compassion in you for your family, and for friends and strangers alike who may be going through the same thing, then I’m afraid you may be missing a heart. 

It's not for the loss of "things" that we grieve, but it's the trauma, especially for the elderly, of losing a lifetime of so many things collected through the years, and being so displaced at this stage of life. My father has been very confused at times, unsure of what is going on with Rosewood, and it breaks my heart. I want to bear it all for them. The good news is, there is One who said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary, and I will give you rest." God has made Himself known throughout all of this, in big and small ways, and we know He can be trusted. 

I don't know how much of this journey I will share; some journeys are personal, but I may share more as time goes by. If you don't see me here, you can find me on Facebook. I post to a "friends only" audience, but occasionally go beyond that scope. If you want to be friends, send me a note.

Mother asked me and Gayle to thoroughly document everything in pictures for the insurance company, and between the two of us, we have some great photos. Initially, I didn’t want to share any photos of Rosewood, then I wanted to, then I didn’t. I'm not sure if I will or won't. The jury is still out.

Frankly, if walls could talk, I don’t think Rosewood would want to be seen in such disarray. It’s kinda like falling down in a moldy mud hold, then asking the world to come take a look at you. 

The Allen windmill, my precious father's creation.
We do not seek pity. We know this devastation is widespread and things could have been SO much worse. We have dozens of friends whose entire houses were covered in flood waters. The photos they've shared are breathtaking. Not much can be salvaged without extensive efforts. We are heartbroken for them.

Rosewood in her Christmas finery.
Rosewood is a two-story dwelling, so that was a blessing, and things from the first-floor that can be salvaged with a little work and effort, we are in the process of doing that. Many other things cannot be saved and now sit in a mountain of debris at the end of the driveway. I have called it the Trail of Tears. Although our treasures are in heaven, our memories are here on earth. 

It's a common scene in our neck of the woods, mounds of stuff piled high on curbs. If you drive around the little community where my parents live, or drive around a few miles away from where we live in Harris County and beyond, you will see entire neighborhoods like the photos below. 

These pictures were taken by a Houston friend, LaWanda Weidman, and are shared with her permission. This is one street over from where she lives. Thankfully, her home didn't take on water.

Until next time, sweet friends, we are thanking the Lord for His hand of protection and for the blessings we will surely uncover as we move down this path of recovery with Mom and Dad. As you can see, the road ahead is long for many people. Your prayers are needed, so thank you in advance.



  1. So broken hearted for you and all those who are now dealing with the aftermath of storms. I've grown up on the Gulf Coast and remember the scenes and smells and sounds so well. Prayers for brighter days and strength for your entire family.

  2. You and your family have my prayers. I thank you for showing the other side of things. You are the first in my corner of Blogdom to do so. It is important to know the truth. Hurricanes are wild things. Praying for strength to do the work both physical and emotional. Many blessings...

  3. Oh, Dayle. This breaks my heart! I know you would take this from your parents if you could. But I also know you and your sisters will be there with them every step of the way as they work to recover what can be salvaged from the destruction. Blessings and prayers to you and yours, friend.

    P.S. I'm not on facebook. Are you on instagram?

    1. Thank you Renee for your thoughts and prayers. I am not on instagram.

  4. It is heart breaking. From the photos my sister sent her street looks just like this. Piles and piles tall as the ranch houses... It is hard to believe how the wood or like wood floors are gone and dry wall dissolved or mush. It is hard to comprehend how wide spread the damage is. She salvaged what she could this past weekend metal and dishes seem to make it... Hard to imagine but neighbors suffering the same losses were helping neighbors... She was in the process of planning a relocation when it hit. Since she rented, she doesn't have to go through a rebuild, but still awful to lose most everything. I can't imagine how it would be like for parents your age. xoxo Su

  5. We know some of your pain today.... Some of my Precious Family members are suffering the same loss with flood waters .. and with huge oak trees lying on top of their homes.... we have just come thru Hurricane Irma.. and here in Northeast Florida ( Jacksonville) .. I believe it is safe to say we are stunned !!! Never in my life have we been thru such a weather event !!! BUT ... by God's mercy and grace our entire family are here today.. safe whole healthy...including our 93 year old sweet Mama!! And for that we are MOST THANKFUL !! Praying for you and yours.....

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart in a most beautiful way even in the midst of this heartache. You already know the prayers are continuing. ♥

  7. I am praying for your parents and family. I, too, live in Houston and am saddened by all of the destruction by in awe of all of the love and togetherness our city has shared. May God's blessings overwhelm you.

  8. Tragic, Dayle. So very, very tragic. Your poor Mama and Daddy. But thankfully they have you and your hubs and other family members to help clean up the mess and debris. But to say it is easy is impossible. It's truly one of life's most difficult times for all of you and my heart goes out to each one. May the Lord bless all of you with His never ending love and peace. And you all live! thanks be to God. Susan

  9. Heartbreaking. Sending hugs and prayers!

  10. Oh my. It is just the most devastating thing to go through! Your poor parents! So thankful that you and your sister are there to help them go through things. Trail of Tears, indeed. The entire city of Houston must surely be enduring such terrible things, and now the state of Florida and others. You are in our prayers! Praying that Rosewood can be restored beautifully and even better than it was in the past! With hugs and prayers for you and your family!

  11. Our thoughts and prayers have gone all over Houston, etc.

    But I'm sorry, Dayle. I have no more words............


  12. Oh, Dayle! My heart is just broken for you and Gayle and your precious, precious parents! Oh, it is truly so hard to comprehend the WHY of such, especially saints of God like the two of them are. The thing that is so remarkable is how He protected their lives and got them out of there before the flood came. He promised to do that, and He made good on that promise. I cannot imagine the pain in all of your hearts as you walked into such devastation. My dear sister in FL is facing the same thing, as her house was a direct hit from Irma. My heart breaks for her and for all of you who were so deeply affected by it all. I feel so bad that your Daddy is having such confusion, bless his heart. Oh, my, it is so overwhelming, and if we didn't have Jesus to turn to, I do not know what we would do in times like these. The hurt would be more than we could bear. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and your dear parents are abundantly blessed to have you and Gayle as their daughters. May the God of all comfort wrap His loving arms around you and hold each of you close.

  13. just read your blog outloud to my family as we sit at the beach eating breakfast. Our prayers are with you during this horrible time.

  14. Oh, Dayle. I am so very, very sorry for your parents. It is bad enough when we have to go through traumas like these ourselves....when we have to see it happen to our parents and the elderly---well---that adds a whole different level of angst to our lives. God bless you and your dear parents. I would be honored to be able to follow you on FB. My FB page is under Diana Kosmoski.
    Love and prayer--xo Diana

  15. So very sorry.
    Bless your dear parents.
    May God feel your hearts with peace.


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