there’s still so much work to do: being #allerganstrong during the post-harvey cleanup.

the air hung heavy as we squeezed our way into the memorial area, the musky deterioration of the coagulation of life permeating into our lungs and our heads and our hearts this past week.  it was unfair to be such a bright, sunny, day.

cars lined all sides of the street: metal carcasses swallowed by the receded waters, soggy, waiting for redemption from their disrepair.

right away our hostess appeared, as if frolicking across a field, picking wildflowers in the grasses between the mountains concealed as homes. upbeat, she ignored all usual co-worker customaries, and rightfully so in this abated bayou bottom.

rather, she directed us to the properties around the street in which we could serve, truly ignoring any needs of her own chateau in lieu of others, a true godsend to her grieving neighbors. we obeyed.

we cascaded towards the work in which we found ourselves that day. our souls unprepared for the gravity of the scene around us.

some toiled right away: splintering, swinging tools, destroying indoor barricades residents had built up over decades of life. no wall was safe.

every memory was hacked to pieces, exposed, thrown to the curb for the world to see.

we felt a sense of accomplishment as debris piled around us.

others preferred to excruciatingly peel back the memories one layer at a time, working with homeowners who culled on every object presented.

in reality, we seemed to only pull away the outer sheaths of organs; the tight transparent coating spilling centuries of confessions onto the cold, wet floors.

we were awash in putridity.

a sense of sadness began to fill the air as some realized how sombering the work was.

survivors guilt began to build in those who live in houston and were unaffected, while anguish churned inside those who had traveled to assist, both discovering the sudden immediacies of their work.

their tear-filled eyes argued with their placating bodies as they went back in. it was rough, y’all.

the beauty in the emptiness was serene.

homeowners began to query as to our intentions, the memorial area of houston long-forgotten in the time since Harvey, and even more so now with impending twin storms in florida.

it was unfathomable we were here to just help.

but we were, and we did; we made a small dent for one street. one. how much more is there to do, y’all?

we’ll be back.

#houstonstrong #texasstrong #allerganstrong


thanking those from afar: how you have helped during the #coalsoncleanup

it’s stopped raining here in texas. and as another storm eeks her way towards millions of souls, we begin to feel the tightness in our chests, the anxiety of feeling helpless and draining and ruined. all of our dreams involve rain.


as the waters receded… was it only a week ago? we saw the destruction our storm had made. Harvey wailed his anger over south texas, wiping clean small towns and cities that dot the third coast; he obviously thought us invaders to his land.


he changed the memory of our childhood, destroying all we knew of that peaceful security of being home. because there was no home anymore: only fragments of what we knew, now being splintered and broken and wheelbarrowed to the driveway. let’s just admit it: Harvey was an asshole.


the urgency that swelled into our bodies barbarically flung us into action, each of us willing to lend a hand where we could, mucking out my mother and father’s bloated house with fierce determination and vigor.


the sweat did not cool us, our souls were on fire.


hearts began to hang heavy as we realized the enormity of our task: everything must cleaned, and moved, and paid for. as millions of others who are still living in the toxic waters of Harvey have realized, 800-year floods happen. and with the world changing all around us, our climate no longer reliable, we have to face the truth that we can’t do this alone.


many thanks go to the various generous hearts who have contributed to our parent’s recovery. with your help thus far, we have been able to purchase basic cleaning necessities like face masks, vinegar, bleach, gloves, trash bags, and packing materials. and in the middle of an aftermath, anything can be hard to find.


completely moving out of a house can be daunting, and we have to move everything out. everything. and my parent’s aren’t even moving. they have been forced from their home by a bastard of a storm.


without the help of others, we wouldn’t have been able to buy humidifiers, replace my parent’s basic necessities like their molding medications or supplements, ruined clothes, or provide lunches and beers to those who came to my parents in their time of need.


the road is long ahead. there is no flood insurance. floors must be replaced, sheetrock hung, walls re-textured and painted, and even mattresses and furniture acquired. this journey is daunting, so we take one day at a time, breathing deep and slow, taking comfort in our communities, and the souls living thousand of miles away that felt compelled to help us.


thank you, with all of our hearts.  we can’t do it without your help.