Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Ripple Effect and the Power of Family

I have come to recognize once again this week what a wonderful family I married into. Leif's parents were preparing to go to a family reunion this past weekend when they discovered that their basement had flooded. Not just a little flood either, almost the whole basement was soggy and wet. The water had been there for a little while too. So they had a mess on their hands.

They called us first because we live right next door. Leif went over to survey the scene and quickly decided that this was a job for more then just us. He and I made a couple of phone calls. Those people made a few calls. And the calls continued throughout the ward and neighborhood. Seriously, within an hour we had at least a dozen people over to help.

They went straight to work! They pulled out carpets and padding, mopped up free standing water, brought up wet boxes, took dress up clothes home to wash, separated wet pictures, moved couches, and set up fans. A few of the ladies even cleaned out their carport. We were all so busy, lunch time rolled around and before we knew it the Relief Society president brought us pizza and then she brought dinner for us that evening. I had the missionaries scheduled for dinner weeks ago. I decided not to cancel the dinner appointment because I figured we could use their help before dinner. So I called and asked them to come early. They came and helped put books that had been drying in the sun back into boxes. We then had dinner and a whole lot of ice cream together.

During the initial moments after the emergency we were surrounded and carried by our ward family. The outpouring of support was inspiring and humbling.

Within hours after the flood Leif's youngest brother and his wife made it over to help. By the time they came we were realizing that this was going to be a much bigger project then we all initially anticipated. All of the things that had been brought up stairs needed a new home. Which meant that one room after the other needed to be de-cluttered and re-organized, including the rooms out in the garage (AKA The Barn.) My in-laws have lived in this same house for over 30 years. Because of this, there was a lot, a whole lot, to do.

The flood happened Friday afternoon. By Sunday afternoon Leif's oldest brother and his family had driven 11 hours to join us in the effort. By first thing Tuesday morning Leif's sister and her whole family had driven 6 hours to get here. This meant that Leif's whole family except for one brother were together. This is no easy task. It was a miracle, really. This was a sign of true love and family unity.

Throughout this week we have worked from sun-up to sun-down trying to make a difference within Leif's parents home. For their privacy I won't go into great detail. But I will say that it was awe-inspiring to see everyone (including the kids) working together and individually.

A few highlights:

  • The front yard manicure. J- Jamming to Wierd Al as he did a fabulous job!
  • The Office. "Where are those darn papers!" 
  • The barn. "I want my Mustang parked right here!;)"
  • Book shelves. Baron's love books, what can we say?
  • The sewing room. "It looks so smooth:)"
  • Thousands of photos. "I am going to get these photos into albums TODAY!" - Uh, yeah, Good luck with that!:)
  • Burning weeds. Ahh, the blow torch.
  • Boxes! "Take this out to the box pile!"
  • "Where's K!? We need to dump another load"
  • Leif's massage chair. Ahhh, yeeah!
  • Evening thunder storm, dinner, and pictures. Baron blanketed calendar pics. - "Say What!?"
  • NIGHT GAMES! It's Family Tradition!
  • A game of Dominoes anyone!?
  • Cookies, Chips and Soda for lunch. Energy Food!;)
  • Corner Store trips.
  • Where is the Insurance Inspector!?
  • "Caleb! Where are your pants!?"
  • Jakob's quarantined! Thank Heaven's for antibiotics!
  • Lena's List.
  • "There has to be a story..."
  • To Save, or Not to Save, That is the Question!

As you can see from my highlights we had an amazing time this week. One might think that Leif's parent's were cheering us on in our endeavor. Actually, they have been a little shell shocked by it all. It is extremely difficult to let people come and go through your things, throw things away, and still maintain your dignity. Well, I would have to say that for all that they have been through this week, Leif's parents have maintained their dignity and more. They have allowed their children to show their love in a very direct way even when it was extremely uncomfortable. That is very admirable.  I just pray that as time goes on and things settle they will feel peace with all that we have done this week.

The ripple effect and the power of family was so clear this week. I truly feel that this was a moment in time that was meant to be within this family. I am so grateful for the blessing that I have been given to be a part of this precious family.

1 comment:

Molly said...

I love your highlights! Those are funny. It was hard work, but great work. You did an amazing job in the office. Just before we left, my Hubby walked up to me and said, "Did you see the office? Lena was a tornado in there!" A great kind of tornado, though. ;)

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