Ancient History

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For nine days, my husband was in Gulfport, Mississippi. He volunteered with our church’s disaster recovery team. They send a team once a month from Denver to Gulfport, where they help residents whose lives and homes were torn apart by Hurricane Katrina. He returned home yesterday.

He put up drywall, mudded, repaired ceilings, ripped a porch off a house, and worked hard. The devastation he saw is still widespread, six months later. He talked to residents who are putting their lives back together. One family his team encountered was a widow and her five year old son.

I didn’t see what he saw, or smell what he smelled, or felt my heart catch at the stories he heard. I cannot write any more about what Gulfport meant to him. I am hoping he will sort it all out and write of his experiences. I really want the kids to understand how their daddy spent nine days of his life, and why he chose to go.

It wasn’t easy letting him go—in fact, I wondered if it was very smart to send him off with five small children and a pregnant-me at home. Thankfully my mom was able to travel from Grand Junction to keep us company for about half of the time he was gone. The fact his trip coincided with the kids’ spring break was planned. We figured it would be easier for me if I didn’t have the pressure of schedules to honor.

When the kids heard daddy was going to Mississippi, Ryley asked “who is Mrs. Hippie?” I was tempted to answer “Aunt Alison” (my sister) but explained it was one of the states affected by the big hurricane. I want the kids to remember their spring break of 2006 to be a time where daddy left home to help others and mommy washed their clothes in fabric softener and survived our longest separation in more than 10 years of togetherness. Each of us made a sacrifice last week.

While daddy was away, he didn’t know he was building more than new rooms for hurricane victims. He was building our house too.

12 comments to Building

  • Glad you’re back. It was nice “catching up” w/you…as much as possible via this medium. Kudos to you for your tact & integrity in your response to ick. Thanks to both you & your dh for serving others last week.

  • quit making me cry, G!!!!!!

  • You and your family are such a blessing to others in so many ways. I know how desperately his efforts were needed and thank God that there are those who would travel from so far away to help.

  • Julana

    I hadn’t thought of the effect on families who stayed behind. Thank you for writing about it.

  • So when I congratulated you earlier on surviving spring break, I didn’t know you were flying solo. Way to go! I’m sure you are happy to have your hubby back, but how wonderful that your shared him with those in need. Did he take pictures or video? I’ve wondered how things are coming down there.

  • I did take video (nearly 5 hours). Not only do I have to sort through all the footage, I’m still sifting through all the amazing things I experienced.

  • My hubby also went to Mississippi he went to Bay st Louis with our church and another Calvary Chapel. What a blessing it was for him to serve in such a way.He made a video so we could get a better picture of it.

  • It is such a wonderful thing that both of you did.

  • I can only handle it a couple of days after hubby leaves on a trip. After that I become a comeplete mess.

  • Ohhhh! That is so great! Tell him a Gulfport resident says a big, “Thank you!!” from the bottom of her heart.

    We so appreciate how wonderful and supportive people from all over the country (and other countries too…) have been in helping us rebuild!

    Although we are going through alot, and it is still a devestated area, you wouldn’t believe the blessings we’ve been apart of!

    Thank you for sharing your husband with us! (If I’d known he was here my husband and I would have taken him out to dinner or somehting!) 😀

  • hamster

    Good for Lee and hooray for you taking care of everyone while he was gone. I don’t mean to be dense, but I didn’t understand you’re comment in your previous post about talking about something on Monday because it would be wise not to trumpet it around. Did you mean Lee’s trip? Did I miss something?

  • Sister-of-Mopsy

    HA! Mrs. Hippie!!! That’s funny. Just because we have a VW camper bus (or two+) doesn’t mean anything…. er, maybe it does.

    Anyway, good for Lee giving a helping hand. It’s a testimony to his kindness and giving spirit to take valuable time away from his family to help those so desperately in need. Most others would spend the time off vacationing or fixing up things around the house, but he selflessly gave and that’s wonderful. I wish there were more people like Lee out there, what a better world it would be.

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