The flood of September 2011 in Pennsylvania and neighboring states entered my childhood home uninvited and very unwelcomed. There was no loss of life, but it made quite a mess and disrupted the lives of people I love. Thirty years of hard work making a house a home were ripped apart overnight. It was heart breaking to see the home my parents had worked so hard on figuratively swept away. The structure still stood, but things would never be the same. The situation forced my parents to answer the question of whether or not to start over but also to wonder if they really had the choice not to.

The clean up was hard and emotionally draining, but there were things that helped me through it – kind words from a friend, the generosity of strangers, the reliability of family, the memories and hopes we all held onto…and the ability to put my feelings into the words of a poem.  A lot of things were thrown away during the cleanup…

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