Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Day 2...All Hands on Deck

Surprisingly at our 6:45am wake up this morning, the entire group was up and ready to begin to work to help "put the pieces" together for a family. The group was split into two, one heading to Bob and Deidre's house to start tearing down the walls, while the my group headed to Glen's house to begin to empty it out.

When we arrived at Glen's house, an upside down car welcomed up and presented us with what seemed to be a daunting task, to empty out an entire woman's 45 year life at her house. With 7 of us leading the charge, we entered the family room to chaos. Wet cushions, broken glass, and molded linoleum covered the room and was the first target for clean up. As the day progressed, so did the work from light to heavy as a molded refrigeration and a washing machine still loaded with darks presented the next obstacle. As we attempted to remove both from the room, a putrid smell overcame us, leaving the 7 of us speechless for the moment as we took a second to breathe in the personal effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Glen then arrived to her house with two small dogs in hand to join in the effort. She was followed by her son, her son's fiancé, and two younger children. With the team ever bigger, the clean up progressed at a quicker pace and within 4 short hours, we were able to empty the entire house, while managing to salvage a small number of keepsakes, which Glen commented as the things "which really mattered".

What struck me the most was an "I Love You Mom" frame that Jon and I managed to save from a ravaged bedroom. When presenting this frame back to Glen, she stopped for a moment, and looked at her son, who had given it to her, and said this is what matters to me, love.

As we ended our work at Glen's house, she gratefully thanked us a million times for the work that we did for, and commented that the grass had begun to grow back, and that life will return, and her house, wherever it may be in the future, will forever be blessed by the hands of "you Saint Joes kids" who made a difference.

-Christopher Romano


At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Joanie & Pat McDonald said...

We are so proud of our son and all of the SJU team that has given up a week of their winter break to help those affected by this disaster. We look forward to reading this site and talking with Michael on what goes on each day. The stories are amazing and are ones that will stay with all for years to come. Stay safe..our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Joanie & Pat McDonald

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