Updated: Mar 28
Over the last few months, I have continued to listen to your stories and have been touched by the generosity you have shown not only to me to have shared them, but the great efforts you have taken at the most extreme moments in your lives to help others.
You have begun to flood us with your memories. It is hard to ask strangers to reach back and remember also what they might have been feeling.
Your shared experiences wrapped up with the human emotions felt during our floods and in the days and in fact the years that followed have been stuffed away like the bad dreams we all wish they had been. And stuffed has continued to be the place they would remain, but for this moment in time.
After the 2007 flood I had the honor to have worked for Grand Lake Mental Health, hired to walk your neighborhoods and talk to anyone who might need to say a thing, but also to carry information they may not have received on services and such, and more importantly to listen. Just listen.
As a school counselor for a quarter century, listening had been what I did for a living. So that period of re-employment felt not only like a good fit, but certainly purposeful. It is more so each day and looking back all these years later almost a pre-requisite to what I am doing now.
I never thought there would be a need to have you dig in and throw up what you had experienced, but there is a great need.
We are not dancing fast enough. Your cards are being posted. Now we must say more. Keep postcarding, but your next effort is to remember and to say what happened to you.
Did you lose everything to water? Say it. Call it all out. List it. Do you now sit back and remember those things? But also suddenly remember each of your dogs that developed cancer after staying in the backyards that had toxic flood water saturated into the soils. Say their names. Put this in the letters to FERC.
Docket # P-1494 Attn: Secretary Kimberly Bose
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426
What about your own cancers? The people down the block, all living in homes where the heating and air vents had filled with flood water. Is it connected? Someone should find out. Studies should happen. Say that, too.
Did you experience anger, share it, pass it on to the only entity that might be able to put boundaries on GRDA. Do you grieve over lost stuff? Un-stuff it and put it in a letter and MAIL IT.
Have you lost hope? I haven’t. Why not? Your stories have shown me the kindness you have experienced sometimes by strangers. The great efforts someone you know did to help you when you had lost hope. And the kindheartedness you found by the light of the moon when you suddenly saw that john boat tied to a tree outside your home, left to take you to dry land.
Be that boat. Take us all in it. Fill it with your stories. Mail them to FERC. If you can, make copies because we have to send batches of them in the near future to the GRDA Board members and all of our Congressmen.
You are not going to go quietly into that dark night.