Life Interrupted – Surviving Harvey’s Long-Term Upheaval


Small Town Strength and Survival- Hurricane Harvey and the Texas Gulf Coast- Corpus Christi Moms Blog

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A friend of mine, who’s home was severely flooded in Hurricane Harvey told me a story the other day of returning to their home. In their flooded home, she noticed her daughter’s cheer calendar. The date boxes began August 21. A few were checked off and then time seemed to stand still.

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall and life as we know it in the coastal bend was interrupted.

Around two months later, things are returning to normal for the people and neighborhoods that did not endure the ongoing nightmare of losing their homes, cars, jobs and all their worldly possessions after Hurricane Harvey impacted our communities. Except for those who aren’t. When Harvey was right in our faces, our community pulled together and was there for one another. We stopped what we were doing and we listened. We hugged one another, friends, family and strangers alike. We treated one another with kindness and really, it was nothing short of amazing. But like everything, as time has passed, slowly, we’ve returned to normal. With each straightened utility pole, and every fixed fence picket, many of our lives are slowly erasing the footprint of Harvey.  For others, Harvey has become a looming presence in their lives; a complete nightmare that they just can’t wake up from. 

A drive through neighboring cities of Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Rockport, Refugio and surrounding towns affected by Hurricane Harvey is a wake-up call that many are still living this nightmare.

As the agencies who were helping have slowly moved on to other disasters that have since stricken our country, the Coastal Bend is left with neighbors helping neighbors. My friend, who like many others, had her life completely upended by the “Big H,” mentioned to me that not only has the aftermath of Harvey created unanticipated complications, but she and her family are barely able function emotionally, physically, financially, and pretty much every single way. To compound things, people are assuming that things have magically returned to normal and they’re just fine.

As the help has trickled off and they’re no longer sending out emergency updates via social media, everything must be fine right? 

Because of this, I decided to compile a list of ways to help people undergoing long-term upheaval who are doing their best to cope during this tragic time.

  • Just show up. Seriously, it’s that simple. Don’t wait to be asked for help. In a crisis, it’s hard for people to identify their own needs because they’re so great. Whether you bring them a meal, a bottle of wine, physically help with rebuilding, bring in needed supplies or groceries, or babysit their kids for a few days, just do it. Don’t wait to be asked. It will be appreciated more than you know.
  • Avoid using all phrases that begin with “at least.” Unless you’re saying “At least you have wine,” there is nothing you can say that will provide them with any comfort. Hug them. Let them vent. Let them cry. Just be a friend to them and agree with them that everything about the situation is awful.
  • Help them financially. People have lost everything they own, including employment. The financial uncertainty can be overwhelming. Some of the best gifts I’ve heard people express gratitude for are the friends who just sent them a check or a Visa gift card to use for expenses with a note and instructions to take the kids somewhere fun or have a much needed date night. 
  • Check on them. It seems like such a little thing, but really, just hearing from you means the world and lets them know you care. Commit to checking on them periodically – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.  Send them a text, a Facebook message, phone call, write a letter or stop by. Whatever method you choose, just let them know you’re thinking about them and you’re there for them. The worst feeling in the world is to feel like you’re going through a rough patch alone. It may be difficult to know what to say, but really, the fact that you’re there for them means more than what you say. An easy starting place is “how are you doing today” or “what can I or someone else do for you?”
  • Pray for them. And really do. While not everyone believes in the power of prayer, earnestly praying for one another is one of the simplest things we can do to provide big answers for those suffering. Commit to praying for them; include them in your church’s prayer list and let them know you’re praying. 
  • Be kind. To everyone. Everywhere. You don’t know what the person who cut you off in traffic is dealing with. The lady with tons of coupons at the grocery store might be trying to make the last of her money stretch further. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, people were kind. Strangers asked strangers if they were okay. Slowly, that mindset is transitioning back to a self-centered mindset. Let’s make an effort not to allow this happen as many people in our community are still living the nightmare. 

The Coastal Bend is our home and what makes it great is the people. As Moms, let’s join together to do what we can to help our community heal. Not only do we have an immediate affect on our friends and neighbors, but little eyes are watching and we’re teaching them to love too.

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Misty is a native Texan but moved to Corpus Christi in 2014 with her family of six when her quadruplets were just eight months old. (That’s right; quadruplets. As in FOUR babies born at the same time.) Misty and her husband Adam spend most of their time tending to their four three-year-olds. She enjoys sharing her adventures in parenting high order multiples and feels that, just as when dealing with quads, it’s always best with a healthy dose of humor and sarcasm. Most of the past four years feel like a blur, spent just trying to survive on God’s grace alone: a struggle with infertility, a challenging pregnancy, three moves (two with quads and one while pregnant.) an emergency delivery, 52 days in the NICU, her mother’s battle and ultimate loss to cancer, and then there’s that whole raising quadruplets alone in a city where she knew no one, miles away from friends and family, while the hubby worked out of town. Blogging and ridiculous amounts of Facebook posting have become a way of life not only in order to stay in touch with loved ones, but also to serve as a reminder of where her family has come from and all they’ve been through. Misty leads a busy life tending to the needs of four very active toddlers, substitute teaching, helping others learn about the amazing benefits of Young Living essential oils, and documenting her journey on her blog at Still, there’s always time in her life for God and crafts. Misty is an active member of Bayshore Bible Church and enjoys all things crafty (presently, all things vinyl.)