Eight Years Gone: tragedy into joy

Eight years ago, we woke up to the sound of laundry detergent bottles floating into walls in the basement. We called in sick to work and waited for direction from emergency personnel that would come too many hours too late.

River and rain water just inches below the windows that are 4+ feet off the ground and 2feet above the floor. That’s an entire 8 foot basement plus 2+ feet of water in our home. you can see the front porch floating away from the house. You cannot see my car in the carport or even the garage door behind which is Aaron’s car. All of it gone in the blink of an eye.

Does anyone else remember this EXACT day? April 18, 2013. It had only beed 3 months and 2 days since our wedding. We had JUST booked our honeymoon. We were making plans to do a few renovations on the house my husband bought before we had met. Then it was all gone. A full 84 days after the flood, we still had so many questions. I wrote an open letter in the Lisle Patch HERE but still didn’t get any answers. Many of these questions still linger. Today marks eight years since I started this blog with a post that still brings me to tears every time I read it. If you are looking for a little insight into me, you can read HERE.

In the days before the house flooded, I ordered Aaron a birthday gift. It was delivered the day or two after his birthday to home that was still musty with the scent to river water. Everything was still soggy. We were broken. Our spirits were fractured. At the time, both the house and our spirits seemed beyond repair. I bought him a projector and screen so that we could watch movies in our backyard during the warm summer nights. This was well before it was commonplace to have such an entertainment system in your yard. It was going to be amazing. We never got to use it in Lisle. We didn’t use it when we lived with my dad in Orland, either. We JUST used it for the first time last summer. Those gifts sat in boxes for 7+ years before we were healed enough to pull them out and enjoy them with our children.

one of our first outdoor movies
cozied up on the outdoor couch watching a movie

And now we are planning renovations at our new home. The one we took so long to find. We tore it apart bit-by-bit to make it our own. Each door knob, paint color, and fabric swatch was carefully chosen. We spent countless nights and weekends with family and friends turning this house into a home. And now our plans for this summer include making the outside of the house match the inside. We are hoping it’ll become our outdoor oasis through yet another Covid summer. It’ll keep us safe yet entertained. And to make it all extra special, we plan to pull out that projector and screen every chance we get…turning tragedy into in joy.


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