Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hurricane Ivan - 6 Years Ago Today - How My Family Survived!

Before Ivan
Six years ago today Hurricane Ivan hit my parents' house and changed their lives for ever...and I believe for the better.

My parents, who live near the Gulf of Mexico, safely evacuated further in town to my house, which had just sold a few days before and was empty. With everything they could carry including their cat, Lacy, my parents road out the storm.  Though my house was virtually untouched, my parents feared their house was not so lucky.  So against better judgment, they ventured outdoors to see what was left of their home.  Despite debris covered roads and down power lines, they made it to the entry of their neighborhood and walked the rest of the way to the house...and, by some miracle, they discovered that their cell phones were working, so my mom was able to call me.  She reported that they were fine, but that the house was "just gone".

"What do you mean gone? How bad is it mom?"
"Suz, it's so bad my underwear is in the trees!"

After Ivan
Must be bad when the President visits your neighborhood!
Now, those words have become a punch line to a family story, but at the time it was very true.  My parents' house was a complete loss, and their clothes were literally hanging in the trees.  It took several years for them to rebuild...they had to fight insurance companies and builders...they had to find a temporary place to live...they had to recover what they could from the house.  And they did all this together.  Most marriages would crumble under the strain of a disaster like this, but my parents' relationship thrived. Quickly they realized what was important - family (in fact, a few days after the storm, my son and I traveled to Gainesville, FL where my parents' were staying on the way to be with my aunt and uncle, just so my mom could hug her grandson).

Hurricane Ivan took some family pictures and some sentimental objects, but it did not take the most important item - family.
We are still in one piece.
We are still a family.

The New House


  1. Wow! That is quite a story. I'm so glad everyone survived safely. I wouldn't want to wish an experience like that on anyone.

  2. Great story about survival and emphasis on what really matters in life-- family. The humor probably served them well in the recovery.

  3. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"