Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Update: 3/5 Rice Reunion, Grandpa Eating Popsicles, and Cora at Peak-Accessory

Once again this will be very short because I am fried and must sleep, but there is both so much and so little to cover. What I can tell you in short, here at 11:45 p.m., is that my brother was able to pick up my parents earlier today and they are together and safe and dry at his condo in The Heights with all 3 dogs.

I cried off and on all morning knowing they were reunited. I know they all felt the same. I just feel like we can finally breathe again. We don't know the status of their house, though we know their surrounding neighborhoods and our childhood home of Kingwood are just devastated right now and under many, many feet of water. My high school has several feet of water and all the roads leading to our neighborhood are deeply underwater.

I also know that my parents and Eric are together and safe and dry at his condo, so I'm just sticking with that.

I have much to tell you, having finally heard the whole story of their rescue by strangers on the side of the road and the impact those unknown good Samaritans had on all 5 of us. I have thoughts on the devastation in Houston and my hometown; the damage, the families rescued (and then, in two cases of friends, rescued again when their shelters flooded a few hours later), the long timeline to rebuild, the cleanup involved before rebuilding is even a possibility. My heart bursts at the stories of neighbors helping neighbors and strangers helping strangers.

Kingwood High School

The place I grew up is drowning. My parents house is drowning. I've been drowning in news updates and twitter feeds since Sunday.

But also in those news updates are calls for help that are answered and videos of people being rescued by civilians with boats and no other plan but to "help wherever they could." It's overwhelming.

Two partners I worked with at my old firm in Austin reached out with heartfelt and sincere offers of assistance. A guest house with an acre of land for the dogs to run in Austin and a "can I come pick them up? Let me know and I'm on my way." A home owned but currently empty and offered up to them for as long as they need. And I know they meant every word, including the driving 3 hours to go get them. I received similar offers from friends all around Houston, including many I hadn't seen in 10 years. I just kept crying all morning, not so much because my parents needed the help, but because it was offered so instantly and freely and sincerely.

I was, and am, simply overwhelmed.

Separately, my grandpa is improving rapidly. It was like at the exact moment I was having to ignore hospital updates in lieu of flooding ones, the hospital updates become less critical. The universe let them intersect and one take precedence.

They pulled his breathing tube over the weekend and he's been breathing on his own and talking ever since. He's eating popsicles now. He's getting physical therapy to get him up and walking (in limited fashion) as soon as possible. He's uncomfortable and stubborn and getting all the questions right on Jeopardy. He is, in the words of his doctor, "an inspiration" and recovering at "mach speed." He's still in ICU, but could be out in 2 days, and then on the long road of PT and recovery (most of it hospital-based). There are still risks, but he is firmly on that long road of recovery. It is a miracle. I am so thankful. I am overwhelmed.

Cora's good too. She loves her 3x princess bandaid "treatment" and I'm pretty sure still has no idea what happened while she was screaming bloody fucking murder over having to lie down on a hospital bed. Stitches remain a foreign concept. She gets them out Friday. James is taking her.

This, at least, is not overwhelming. I will be at yoga, he will deal, Cora will probably remain calm the whole time because that's how this works.

It's 11:58 and I'm determined to publish this before midnight. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart for your comments. On a day when I can't tear myself away from the internet, your intermittent "new messages" with comments were such a bright spot. Thank you thank you, more later.

xoxo, LL


  1. Oh my gosh, that's a lot for your family to deal with at once. Your ability to remain positive through it all is so inspirational! Also, have you thought of having a dermatologist/cosmetic surgeon take a look at Cora's stitches? I once had something removed from my face and despite assurance from the nurse that it wouldn't scar I still ended up with a (tiny) scar and wish I'd looked into prescription strength scar solutions :(

  2. "He's uncomfortable and stubborn and getting all the questions right on Jeopardy."
    I've never met your grandpa but I love him more each time you write about him.

  3. Hello and good morning, here's a "new message" from Paris. Glad to her that your parents are safe with your brother and that your grandpa is getting better. It's so nice to read about other people, strangers even, offering help. Yes, sometimes people suck (see: 2016 US élections) but sometimes they seriously rock. And I am sure it makes a difference for you and everyone involved.

  4. I am SO GLAD to hear that your parents and brother are together. Thanks so much for this good news to start the day.

  5. I'm so happy your family is safe. The last few days, I've cried as much about the amazing response of ordinary people, as I have about the tragedy itself. Prayers that your grandfather continues a swift recovery.

  6. "Popsicles" in your headline proves your optimism is strong. :) Sending more love and hope for your people. Keep strong.

  7. I am so happy that your family is reunited, what a relief. And that your grandfather is recovering. Seeing him with the ice pop was so inspiring. Continued prayer coming your way for all the difficult roads ahead.

    And Cora- She reminds me so much of my daughter. She also lets her true (FEISTY) self out for me, yet somehow keeps it in check when I am not around. She also got stitches in her head last summer and that (traumatic) experience is forever etched in my mind.

  8. Glad your parents are reunited with your brother, that you have such wonderful offers of help from all over and that your grandfather is on the mend. Thoughts coming your way from DC.

  9. Another new message from Bellingham, WA. I read something in a book about something bad happening to thousands of people being news, but when it happens to one family, it's a tragedy. Your posts are helping us to understand the tragedy affecting tens of thousands of people, making it more than news, and showing how good people are. Continued prayers for you, your family, including your grandparents, and the many others affected.

  10. Long time reader – and I work in administration at the U of Minnesota Hospital. Please, please, please shoot me an email if there is anything your family needs while here – and I can connect you to the right people. Emilymbrennan(at)gmail.com

  11. YES! I am so happy your family is together again. Also great news about your grandpa.

    I can't even begin to imagine the cleanup that is coming. Too much to think about.

    I can't even look at FB- I cry at the generosity of people. Our country might be a mess, but the good people STILL outnumber the bad.

  12. God bless good Samaritans in times like these! so glad your family is reunited.

  13. I'm so glad your family is safe and your grandpa is improving. I pray that there is no/minimal damage to your family heirlooms and that their home is still standing when they are able to safely return.

  14. Very glad to hear your parents are alright. I'm up in Canada and I've been glued to the internet and tv and it's just so heartbreaking.

    Sending best wishes to you and yours. xo

  15. I left this comment when you posted this - but the internet ate it, so re-posting:

    You have stayed in my prayers. That picture of your folks & grandfather is such a comfort to see. Thank you for sharing them with us. And FTR I am positive people are reaching out to you with so much love because you yourself are lovely. And "James will be taking her" is my favorite sentence I have read all day because it made me LOL for real. ❤️️