Thursday, May 13, 2010

And the Rains Came Tumbling Down

By Beth Terrell

For the past few weeks, I've caught myself singing a little song I learned in Sunday School when I was a child:

The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the rock stood firm.

Chester has already discussed the recent floods around Tennessee, but it's a topic that's foremost in every Nashvillian's mind. Everyone has suffered a loss or knows someone who has. Homes were covered with water, only their roofs visible. There were close to 1000 boat rescues, most conducted by regular people who risked their lives to help complete strangers. Even so, the last count I heard was twenty-six dead. At least two people drowned on Interstate 40, less than two miles from my office.

My family and I were lucky, but many of my colleagues were not. Some lost their homes and/or their vehicles. At least one lost a friend. My friend and dog trainer was rescued from the top floor of her two-story home just as the water reached the eaves. She lost several of her dogs and both of her cats; their loss hurt her more deeply than the loss of her home.

Today, when I saw her, she and her husband were moving what they could salvage into a rental house owned by a friend. Other friends have pitched in to provide supplies for her, her husband, and her surviving dogs. "I always thought dogs were better," she said, "but the people...I never knew people could be like this."

The spirit of generosity has been seen all over the city--no, all over the state. As I sang that little song today, it occurred to me that, despite the damage and the heartache, Tennessee been a house on a rock. A rock of friendship, a rock of faith, a rock of determination. We have stood firm.

J.T. Ellison, a fellow Nashvillian and the author of the Taylor Jackson thrillers, has shared her thoughts about the flood in a remarkable post for AOL News. If you'd like to see some powerful images of the devastation, check out this video on J.T.'s site; it's followed by a list of local charities.

1 comment:

Jean Henry Mead said...

What a terrible tragedy, Beth, but it certainly brought out the goodness in people, as in the aftermath of 911. I'm so glad you didn't lose your own home.