Twice! Twice in 12 months!

Finding ourselves flooded out of our home for the second time in 12 months has been a massive blow.

Once was bad enough…somehow the first time felt easier to deal with. We didn’t know what lay ahead and just took each day, week and month as it came..totally believing that the freak rainfall of 2012 couldn’t repeat the following year. And for a while all looked well. Summer 2013 wasn’t bad at all. Rainfall was lower than usual. Perfect! We thought. Our cottage dried out nicely, renovations began..and some 10 months after we left our home we moved back to a newly refurbished property. Home. At. Last.

And then the rain came. It rained. And rained. And rained. Our new flood defences held out for around 2 months. Until…you can guess. The ground water levels rose to unprecedented levels which can only lead to one thing ultimately. And here we are again. With a flooded house, our belongings hastily thrown into boxes and bags and strewn around anywhere we could find homes for them.

How do we and all the other flooded families get through this?

This is a question people asked me many times last year.  ‘How have you coped?’ friends asked. ‘Don’t know how you have found the strength…’ said others. And now that it’s happened again, we are the target of worried glances, gentle questions and hushed reassurances…’Are you going to be OK??…’ The mental blow is massive and I can understand why our ability to ‘cope’ will be of great concern to those who care about us.

How does anyone cope at times like this? Well, I can only speak for myself, but I am a great believer in putting perspective around a situation. We so want everything to be perfect these days. We aspire to greater things, wealth, lifestyle, happiness. We sometimes forget what’s really important. When you see the plight of people suffering in other parts of the world, dealing with our twice flooded house suddenly seems less catastrophic. We are not fearing for our lives and are surrounded by people who will give us a roof over our head or a meal if we need one.

I remember standing by a war memorial in a village square when I was younger, and reading the names of the fallen from the Second World War. Some families lost all their men; their husbands, brothers and sons all slaughtered never to return. Now that is catastrophic. Losing a child is catastrophic. As is contracting a serious life threatening illness.

Who knows what the year ahead will bring. We know we face stresses and strains that we would rather do without, wrangles with the insurance company and loss adjusters maybe, physical and emotional ups and downs for sure. My son has his A levels to sit, his driving test and all being well will be off to Uni in the autumn. My younger son will continue to work towards his GCSEs, wherever we live we will be accompanied by his books and school paraphernalia. Work goes on for my husband and me. The mortgage has to be paid, clients need looking after, and new business contracts must be won.

One things for sure..we will be digging deep and finding new reserves of strength and optimism. It’s amazing how people bounce back from situations far worse than ours. Perspective. My kids are moving into their adult lives knowing how valuable it is for equipping you for dealing with the worst.

When the going gets tough, the tough find perspective.