this is our city. this is our home.

i’ve done a lot of deep breathing these last few days… awoken with each splatter of rain on my newly minted windows, my head filled with catastrophic thoughts: imagined drowning and suffocating of my loved ones, my heart anxiously fearing rising waters and the worst of CNN coverage.

this is our city. this is our home.


images of residents in waist-deep waters, searching for help in any way possible, their loved ones piled onto air mattresses and kayaks and boats led by strangers. no one is safe. no one is lucky. we are all vulnerable.

this is our city. this is our home.


the feeling of numbness. it coincides with galoshes worn without socks, the cold rain on my skin; finding the one windbreaker in my closet that just might repel rain. it’s taking meals to those in need, making it to the grocery store, and making it home to the most beautiful girl in the world. it means being the mother I’m meant to be- and distracting her from the misery. the horror of it all.

this is our city. this is our home.


knowing my mother, actually coined most beautiful (circa 1966), and my valedictorian, army major, DOD retiree father were out there, alone. being rescued by humvee and boat and dump truck- yes you read that right- dump truck- at a fragile age- has brought me to my knees. they are safe now.

this is our city? this can’t be our home.


my cousin kayaked his way through the flooded waters to rescue his extended family. our own friends drove through flooded strets to rescue their trapped parents, their dogs, and their childhood.

what city is this?


my heart tries not to feel the ache for all who are suffering. we have lost too much to bear witness. the pain is excruciating.


but we will move on. we will be strong. after all, this is our city. this is our home.


and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.



#houstonflood #hurricaneharvey #ilovemycity

25 thoughts

  1. I’m so sorry you are all going through this. My heart hurts for everyone in the path of this storm. It is just horrific.

    Thank you for sharing. Beautifully and heartbreakingly written.

  2. Beautifully written, Bryana! No one knows the true feelings or the true meaning of disaster until you experience it yourself. We are humbled by our powerlessness over nature and our inabilities to just do something! But with the power of prayer and the continuation of neighbor helping neighbor, your family, your city, your home, will rebuild and be strong again! Love to all the Coalson clan!!

  3. Praying for you, your family, your home and your city know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of your many Missouri family members.

  4. Bryana, so beautiful…I’ve lived through hurricanes in Florida but none as fierce as Harvey. So glad your parents are safe. My prayers continue for all of your family and for all who have been affected.

  5. Bryana,
    My heart hurts for your parents and for all your family is going through. I can’t imagine the pain they must be enduring! We continuously pray for the break in rain for Houston and the flood waters dissipating. I know so many who have been affected by this awful storm. May God give everyone strength to get through this. Glad your family is safe!

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