Sadness. Panic. Terror. Sickness. As I watch things unfold in Texas I am overwhelmed with emotions and can’t stop the tears. The drive to work this morning completely wrecked me.

I honestly can’t believe this is happening again. Different state, different year but it’s the SAME tragedy.

Rescuers in a boat help trapped residents escape from rising floodwaters due to Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas.
Rescuers in a boat help trapped residents escape from rising floodwaters due to Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas. Bloomberg News

This devastation may only last a few days in the media but it will forever change the lives of those affected. The rainstorms that I used to love so much bring a sense of fear these days. I used to love splashing through the water on the side of the road but now it just sends a chill up my spine. Things are, well… different now.

Friends in Texas, here are a few thoughts from someone who has been there: Get ready for a ton of hard work. The gutting of houses and removal of flooded debris will be completely exhausting. Every muscle in your body will hurt. But hey, think of it as exercise.

The emotional and physical drain is hard, but try not to concentrate on what you’ve lost. And I know that is really, really tough to hear in the beginning of all this. Try viewing this as a way to wipe the slate clean. Remember that remodel you’ve always dreamed of? Well here it comes! We know you didn’t want it this way but, it’s coming. Slowly try to shift your mindset and embrace the good things that will come at the end of this ordeal.

You’ll want to get your ‘THANK YOUS” ready. Friends and family will come from every direction to help you. People in different states, friends that you haven’t heard from in years, family members that you didn’t know you had — they will ALL come to help. We are surrounded by some amazing people in this world.

You’ll also need to get your ‘I’M SORRY’S’ ready. These times are hard. Harder than anything you’ve gone through. The people closest to you will need to hear you say ‘I’m Sorry’ about 100 times. Hopelessness sets in and it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’ll think that the work will never end, but it does. It can, and will, be overwhelming at times but I promise, you’ll come through stronger than you were before.

My heart is so heavy. Texas — we know your pain and what you are experiencing. But we also know you will come through stronger than before. We stand with you. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

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