I’ve never ever lived through a natural disaster that has caused insane damage to my property or a house fire like my husband. I have never had to be on the phone with insurance people, and it not be about Bailynn, for hours on end. I have not had one instance change so many things for me, other than Bailynn being born, but Thursday July 7, 2016 will be a date I will NEVER forget. Shortly after my friend JoElle and her girls arrived at our home, to swim and hang out, a swift storm swept through the area. In an instant, a huge oak tree on our property plummeted to the ground causing damage to our roof, Bai’s bedroom window (that praise God is double pained and only broke on the exterior). It murdered (yes, murdered) our fence, pergola, hot tub, deck, pool and grill bar area that Bob just built. One breath – all gone. One moment – 2 years of blood, sweat and tears wiped out. Our back yard paradise gone. Our pool and hot tub are beyond repair. The deck will have to be removed and rebuilt, the pergola looks like sad sticks stuck to the wind with no topper, everything trashed. Glass shards scattered the ground, tree as far as the eye could see. Our determination and time lost. It is so beyond words, beyond loss. If it wasn’t for some truly amazing people coming to help us, we’d still be under a sea of tree, but we have cleared nearly all the debris. We have uncovered the damage beneath, each step another sock in the stomach. Each branch removed revealing more devastation. Our pool. Our hot tub. Our fence. Our roof. Our oasis.
We are all fine. We are all alive, and yes I know that is the silver lining. I know the importance in our safety and in the fact that our home could have sustained so much more damage and possibly injured us. I know it is just stuff. I KNOW THIS, but all I see are the hours of labor and the long nights my husband, family and friends gave. I see myself hand laying every stone in the sweltering heat. I see the labor of love, my brain knows it could have been worse, but my heart is never-the-less broken in pieces. It took a few years to create this and now we have to start again.
Tomorrow the insurance adjuster comes, as does our builder, and we will wait and see how this all goes down. Though we thought we had excellent coverage, and maybe we do and we are mistaken by the conversations over the last 2 days, but many words like “depreciation” and “value based on age” have been used. We need prayers. We just want what we had, we are not asking for more and we certainly are not prepared to settle for less.
Today I should be setting up for Bailynn’s sweet 16 birthday party tomorrow, instead I have cleared glass, limbs and leaves with friends and family. I have collected shattered out door tchotchkes and thanked the Lord we weren’t in the pool when this beast hit. Instead I have halted party services and slid the pinwheels and tissue balls into the corner of the room as I adorn work clothes again. It seems our family’s luck is a thin film that bursts constantly only to heal fragile and prepared to break again. I teased we need and exorcism or something. Maybe we built our home on an indian burial ground, holy land, cursed land – maybe we peeved off a poltergeist (fyi I believe in none of this non-sense)….maybe.
Tomorrow. This all goes down at 1pm. Pray like crazy, cause the Hammonds thought we’d caught a break. Bai was doing good. Life was going so good – RUG RIPPED UP! We should never say life is going well, it is a trick – it is a trap.
How are the girls? Everyone has asked this. Devastated. They watched from the windows as we and a team of friends uncovered their beloved back yard. What can we do? I have been on the phone trying my best to move it along and get things fixed. The girls and I went and put a deposit on a new pool today, will ours be covered enough to buy it? I don’t know and I simply don’t have the capacity to care right now. This is something that is truly a joy for them and there is no price tag for that.We waited and bought our current one in the middle of winter for a deep discount. There is no way to recover that.  Can we afford to replace the huge 12 person hot tub we got used and completely refurbished for a steal? No. We hope and pray they give us something for it, but there is nothing comparable to what we had for under 10K – seriously this has been the worst 2 days. We have curated the items for our family at discounts and off season. We have accepted used and refurbished items, cause we knew the value. This is no number we can give the insurance guy, the value far exceeds how we acquisition each item. One moment…one breath and it all changed.

For her.
Bobbi

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