Ed and Wilda

We had the honor of working on Ed and Wilda’s home. During our stay, a crew went out each day and worked to drywall their new home. We finished it on our final day there.

Ed and Wilda are an older couple – they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September. All the pictures they had wanted to put in the slideshow were destroyed during the storm. So was Wilda’s twin sister home next door, the home of her other sister next door on the other side, and that of her nephews who rode out the storm in their home, immediately behind Ed and Wilda’s (one of their wives couldn’t swim, or get up to the attic. She survived because they held her up for as long as the water level reached above their heads). Within this family alone, fifteen homes were completely destroyed. So was their nephews’ shrimping business.

What do you do when you can’t go to stay with your sister, because her home is also destroyed? And you can’t get extra copies of pictures, because they are all gone? And you don’t have any furniture, nor any clothes except the three-day supply you took when you evacuated. What do you do when you have to bring in 500 cubic feet of soil, just so you can even think about building a new foundation for your home? What do you do when you have nowhere else to go, because this is home? What do you do when 14 other families, all part of your extended family, face the exact same predicament? The answer for Ed and Wilda was that you start somewhere, and just keep going on. Thankfully, one of their daughters lived further up in town. They were able to move in with her and avoid the tiny FEMA trailers.

Now, 18 months later, their foundation has been built, a new home has been framed, insulated and dry-walled, and the finishers and painters are in there as we speak. Ed and Wilda decided they needed a large living room in their new home because they’ll be hosting their family often. They have picked out the appliances, waiting and working patiently until the day they can open the front door to their new home. In the meantime, we recognized in their voices and faces the reality that as wonderful as this new home is, it’s not the same as the old one – Wilda had grown up in that, as had her parents. It won’t hold the same memories, but they are working to create new ones. Drywalling Crew

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