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Love and lessons

Posted by on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 in June 2011.

For Slattery, the experience of the flood disaster last year unfolded in two ways: first was the total loss of the house, followed by the process of putting the house back right.

That part, Slattery says, is now behind them. “We are absolutely done,” he says.

The total reconstruction of the single-level home that took on more than 4 feet of flood water is complete. All essential worldly belongings are back, down to his son’s video games and wife’s favorite cooking tools. All of those tasks are fading to memories, tucked thankfully in the back of his mind.

But Slattery says second part of the experience: the outpouring of kindness and generosity from others, continues to amaze and influence him. From the patient government loan agents, to the friends who cared for the family dog for three months, to Dale Jones, a family friend, who oversaw every last detail of construction, to colleagues who showed up for months with gloves, brooms and wheelbarrows and meals… “And supplies, I think we still have some cases of water in our garage that people brought by,” Slattery said.

Slattery says those memories remain front and center and his admiration continues to grow. He says has a special place in his heart for Barb Cramer, his co-worker who rescued and restored the family photos, and his boss, Emily Pearce, whose home became the Slattery’s home.

“I was concerned about my son who is 15. He was kicked out of the only house he has known. But he was very comfortable where he was. The fact that he was doing OK was one less thing we had to worry about,” he said.

Lessons learned:
1)   Have cash on hand.
2)   Have hard records, receipts for every item in the house … scanned as well
3)   Make contributions to the Red Cross and other agencies.

But most of all: love your friends.

—Carole Bartoo

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