Though all love originates in God and is for that reason God's own love, yet we are permitted to catch and reflect back that love in such manner that it becomes our love indeed, in much the same way that sunlight reflected from the moon becomes moonlight. - A.W. Tozer

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Crisfield Family Speaks

I want to introduce you all to Ms. Michelle. She is one of the clients for MDS here in Crisfield. Her house is really beginning to look like a home, and we've been honored to make her acquaintance over the last few weeks.

Michelle and her husband have been a wonderful blessing and encouragement to the volunteers here at the MDS Camp. Michelle brings us food regularly, and is particularly popular for the Smith Island Cake she brings once every week. Her husband is a waterman, and brought deep fried oysters for the crowd last week as well.

 She is also famous for having the best port-a-potty of any of the job sites. Each site is provided with one of those lovely plastic outhouses for the "convenience" of the workers, but Michelle's is something special. She has really gone the extra mile, putting in sanitizers, nice toilet paper, decorations, a magazine rack...and more. The volunteers warned her that she was now in danger of the workers spending more time in the loo than on the job site.

She has given me permission to re-print her story as it's shared and handed out to volunteers here, so I'll let her talk to you now. From this point on, the voice and pictures belongs to Michelle. (The typos belong to me.)


     It has been two years since Super Storm Sandy made her appearance. We have lived in Crisfield all our lives and have ridden out all the Hurricanes and Storms that have come our way. We planned to do the same with Sandy. My mother was staying with me and my husband Royce and we were prepared for the storm. Water, candles, flashlights, batterires, food, blankets, magazines, etc...
Ms. Michelle's Mom
      One hour into the storm my husband looks out the door and then at me. "You need to get your Mom out of here." He's a waterman and knows currents and tides and wind. He didn't want to leave our home and I didn't want to leave him and my Mom wouldn't leave without me. And we all know that if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy: So my Mom and I made the decision to leave and Royce would stay behind as long as he could to protect our home. 
     The water rose so fast, it was too late to drive out. We called 911 for a rescue and were told they would do their best to get us out. We packed a bag of clothes and medicine for my Mom, who was undergoing treatment for cancer. For the first time (and probably the last time!) I was thankful for the many boats in our yard. Afraid to wait any longer for the rescue, Royce pulled a skiff to the front door and loaded us up to take us somewhere safer. 
The Fallen Tree
     The water was rising fast and furious. He pulled us down Cove St. where we saw a National Guard truck headed our way. They quickly loaded us up in the truck. Ten minutes later Royce called on the cell phone and said a large tree had just crashed through the roof on our back deck and had missed him by inches. Sadly, our 19 year old cat was not so fortunate and perished under the tree and roof.
     Suddenly the truck we were in stalled. It was stuck on what might have been a U.S. mailbox. Another truck was called in to help us out. There were several of us on the truck. We were cold, wet from the rain, and impatient to get to higher ground. While we waited, calls for help came in and the Guardsmen left the truck and came back with a little baby, maybe two months old and his mother. Another call for help and they came back with a man with only one leg. Our complaining stopped. We realized how serious this whole situation was.
     Finally another truck arrived. We needed to transfer to that truck and the only way to do that was to swim. My mother was too weak to do this so these wonderful guardsmen carried her to the other truck while I waded chest deep with our bags held above my head. Within an hour our rescue was complete and we were safe at my brother Preston's house in Kingston.
     This memory is bittersweet for me. Four months later my mother passed away from the cancer that caused her to be staying with me - that caused me to seek rescue on a truck that came to Cove St. for that rescue, that got stalled and while stalled heard the cries for help, that rescued a little baby and a man with only one leg. Life puts us on a strange path sometimes. And as my Mom always said, "There is a silver lining in every cloud."
The New House!
     And now the silver lining has touched our lives again. With the assistance of wonderful volunteers from all over, our home is being replaced. We are still overwhelmed with this turn of events. We can never thank you enough.

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