My Hurricane Harvey Rescue - Open Letter From Deidra Fifee-Farley

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To Whom It May Concern

My name is Deidra Fifee-Farley and I would like to share with the world my experience with the wrath of Hurricane Harvey.  I am a single mother of two boys Dominick – 19 years old and Dononvan – 12 years old.  The rainfall from Harvey began on Friday, August 25, 2017.  We literally watched the waters rise hour by hour in the Grand Mission Subdivision located in Richmond, TX.  The torrential rain came pouring down on Saturday, August 26, 2017 (Donovan’s birthday) with no break in sight.  The water rose rapidly from the side walk, to covering the entire front and back lawns of my home.  I kept the garage door open where I watched the water reach the entrance of my garage.  Finally, I closed the garage door as the water began to enter and I was force to watch the continue rise of water from the windows of the second floor of my home.  I packed all food we had in the house, and loaded an ice chest with perishable food items.  I looked out the window in dismay as flood waters rush through the streets like a raging river.  I periodically checked down stairs to witness the amount of water entering my home.  Initially it appeared as if a little water was able to enter the home, but to my surprise the elevation in the foundation lead the water to the rooms that were carpeted.  The water that was entering the home was absorbed in the carpet first.  Once the carpeted rooms were saturated the tiled area of floors began to accumulate to an ankle high level.

About 2AM, Sunday morning I was finally able to close my eyes.  I prayed with all my heart that my boys and I would be safe and that the waters would descend.  About 5AM, I was awake again and noticed there was no relief in rain or rising water.  We were officially confined to the upstairs portion of my home for the entire day.  The day was filled with uncertainty, anxiety, worry, and helplessness.  As the day turned to night I was hopeless.  It was very hard to maintain my sense of composure to portray and demeanor of safety and security to my boys who kept asking, “Mom, what are we going to do?”, My response, was “We are going to continue to pray and seek guidance from the Lord”.  My adrenaline was at an all-time high, so no matter how exhausted my mind. Emotions and body was from the devastation happening all around me, I was not able to sleep.  About 3AM, Monday morning I heard rescue boats in the neighborhood.  I alarmed my boys to get up and pack a survival bag.  The sound of the rescue boats was quite relieving, however as I looked out the window, I was not able to see any boats, I only heard them.  After hearing the boats and not seeing them for over 5 hours.  I began to panic.  All I knew is we needed to get out of the house.  The weather was forecasted for more rain, reservoirs were being released, and rivers were about to crest.  I didn’t want to stick around to see the aftermath.  All I could think about was being trapped.  As afraid as I was, I followed the decision of my children to walk through the waist high water, so that we would be more visible to the rescuers we heard in the neighborhood.  A living nightmare was created after struggling to lift leg by leg in the rushing waist high waters, holding on to my survivor bag, wiping my face from the blowing stinging rain water, and ever so carefully trying not step into steeper water, avoid snakes and whatever else that could have possibly been in the murky waist high waters we were waddling through for about four blocks in the neighborhood.  Finally, just as we had hoped, we saw the rescue boat, and began screaming and waving our hands, “Over here, Over here”!  They spotted us and came to our rescue.  It was a police department rescue team.  We hopped on the boat, and went house to house rescuing other neighbors until the boat was at its capacity.  We were brought to the CVS on Grand Mission Blvd. There were dump trucks waiting to bring survivors to higher grounds to Kroger on FM 1464.  There, family was able to pick us up and provide shelter.  While with family, I immediately began to contact my insurance company and apply to FEMA for aid.

My boys and I are still currently missed placed and staying in a hotel on a FEMA voucher.  The hotel was only able to book me for 4 days.  I don’t know what I’m going do at this point.  I do not have flood insurance, so my insurance company has denied any liability for my loss.  I have provided all required documents to FEMA in addition to applying for an SBA loan.  The follow up is massive.  When calling FEMA to follow up, the wait time is over 2 hours before getting someone on the line. Then after waiting for so long, all I was told is that things are running behind, because some areas are still flooded and they cannot give me a timeframe on when a FEMA adjustor will be assigned to come and access the damage to my home.

The flood waters have descended in my neighborhood, and I have been able to in get into my house to begin the restoration. All carpet, furniture, and other flood damaged items have been removed from my home.  I am working without professional guidance right now because I do not have the funds to pay a contractor or replace any damaged items.  The entire bottom floor of my home includes, a kitchen, dinette area, living room, dining room, office and bath and all have been damaged by the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey.

I just began a new job as an Educational Diagnostician in Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D.  I won’t receive a paycheck until September 15, 2017.  My last paycheck was June 5, 2017, savings has been depleted, and I am currently financially strapped.  I am humbly in need of financial assistance and host of other aid to restore my home.

Sincerely,

Deidra Fifee-Farley

 

Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder…

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When I was a little girl, my parents were fascinated at the offbeat questions about life I had.  I remember looking forward to sitting on my dad’s lap and asking him questions about everything that was on my mind to ask.  I remember we lived in visual distance of the airport and I would look up in the sky and see planes flying over our house and I would watch them until I saw the landing.  My Dad and I used to stand outside and watch the planes land and he would always say “Touchdown” when the wheels touched the ground.  I looked up at my dad one day and said ”Daddy as heavy as that plane is with as many people as it has inside of it, what in the world keeps it in the air?”  My Dad knew that explaining aero-dynamics and jet engines to me would be too much information for me to handle so he simply said, ”God holds them in His Hands”. Of course I accepted that as the answer, but my little curious mind didn't stop with just that answer, I kept wondering beyond the answer that was given. I then remember thinking, “WOW, God plays with planes like my brother and his friends. 

Hmmph...I wonder if He ever drops them.” As comical as that may sound my innocent inquisitiveness always derived from my young perspective.  I've always had a sense of wonder and exploration about me. When I became a teenager I started experimenting on things that I was curious about. I became wise at an early age because I was never afraid to explore.  Of course my curiosity landed me into some challenges at times, but I never turned it off.  If you really think about it, all of us have a sense of wonder.  Within that sense of wonder lays our will to act on our curiosities or not.  I know you have heard the saying “Curiosity killed the cat”.  I must agree that curiosity on some things can lead you to unfavorable consequences. Some of us may have experienced some things in life that made you a bit apprehensive to even trust yourself enough to explore again. I wish for you today that you would awaken again your sense of wonder. Our destinies are determined by our will and ability to not only see the reality of our dreams but also by the courage we possess to explore what it is that we see.  Yes, your days ahead are chock-full of adventures.  Some exciting and others may not be so thrilling. Doors may close, but others will open.  You may lose something precious but trust that you will gain something else that s even more precious.

Decide that you will not retreat but you will lean in to your predestined life experience, explore and discover what you've never experienced and notice each ordered step. Respect these moments breath by breath and day by day and be fully present, fully alive and fully aware of these moments as they are a gift to you. Embrace your sense of wonder and love the life you are living.

Top 5 Reasons Single Women Need To Calm Down And Enjoy Being Single!

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1.        There is the strong possibility that your King is preparing himself to approach you. 

So many times women try to position themselves for the right man and pray for Mr. Right and there are men who have been watching just how right you are and your style, charisma, you classiness has not only attracted him, but motivated him to become a better man for you.

2.       If you do not have a savings, a financial plan for the future and your credit is bad you aren’t ready anyway.  

Society has placed the stigma that men have to have their finances in order before they can be privileged to a real woman.  Well here is breaking news, a real King doesn’t want a broke and financially challenged so-called queen either there is a verse in the scriptures in Proverbs 31 that says “She considers the field and buys it” Take your time in your single life and get your financial portfolio together.  You become much more of a commodity and an asset to great men when you are informed and more of a partner with him than a liability to his pocket.

3.       This is your best opportunity to explore!  

Do I mean explore the world?  Yes.  Do I mean explore in dating different men?  YES.  Do I mean explore in your career?  Yes. Many women are stuck in their own comfort zone and they want someone to come into their tight little space of an ideal to conform to your ways and values that have not been challenged. Give yourself time to explore EVERYTHING you can so that when you are ready to settle on a partner not only will you know what you want, you will attract what you want and need. Your chances of connecting with a lifelong partner are greater when your vision has been expanded.

4.       You set the bar for the men you meet!

There is this perception in our society that the ration of men to women is 20 -1.  The reality is 2-1.  There are not many good women who are mentally, physically, spiritually, financially and emotionally ready for a relationship.  If you are, then you are a hot commodity.  The other reality is, there are men that believe that they are the commodity and will play the game with as many women as they can.  When you realize that you are the prize, the Eagles, the Kings, the Leaders will recognize you as one in a million and not one of many.

5.       God KNOWS the plans He has for you!

Rest assured that God knows the plans He has for you.   Even the plans for a mate that is suited for you.  The uneasiness comes in when you don’t know the whole plan. Do not make any decisions while you are uneasy. God knows you, you need to know you and value yourself enough to know that God will connect you in due season.   Enjoy yourself, enjoy your single life.  You can do whatever you soul desires right now so do it. Gain a firm and powerful relationship spiritually with the Lord and Your man will find you hiding in the heart of God. Trust that God’s timing is PERFECT for you.