A child trapped in an attic

“Is that still going on?” I hear it all the time about flood recovery. Yes, I reply wearily. It’s still going on.

Today we had 35 cases at the warehouse, picking up new mattresses, sofas and chairs. Here are the stories:

A young mother brings her 4-year-old daughter with her to pick up mattresses and furniture. The child, along with her older sister, were trapped in an attic with their parents for four hours waiting to be rescued from the flood waters last May. The child is very quiet. Her mother says she and her sister are still receiving therapy for the trauma they endured. They cry – still – when it starts to rain.

A woman who had just retired last April and bought brand new furniture for her home. Within weeks, it was all washed away. She is happy to have a new sofa, but you just have to know that in her mind she’s thinking of all that new furniture she picked out that vanished in minutes.

A gentleman who in the space of a few years lost his mother, his brother, his son and now his home. After he loads his own furniture on a truck he lingers to help others who need help loading theirs.

A few weeks ago, we had a kick-off party for Oyster Easter. We thought it would be a good time to run a slide show on a big projector of the path we’ve walked the last year. Pictures of devastation but also pictures of hope and even joy. Someone said, “You’re not going to show that depressing stuff again are you? ” I could have slapped him.

Right now, all eyes are turned to Japan as they should be. In the degree of disaster they have us out-ranked by a long shot. We got out lucky. Most of us still have our lives. Some of us now have our homes back. But soon, the world will forget Japan just as they have forgotten Nashville.

Yes, this is still going on.

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