In October, 1955, we had a terrible flood in my home town that left three feet of water in our basement. I was eight. I still remember standing on the basement stairs watching stuff float by — years of photos and memorabilia on the loose, the past drowning.
Much was saved, though, and I have savored the family photos we still have all the more ever since.
Next summer after the flood, my much older brother, on a visit home, hauled boxes other debris out into the back yard for an inventory and great unburdening event. With a twenty-something’s lack of appreciation for a fifty-something’s sense of value, he became impatient after a while and tossed things that our mother would have rather kept a while longer, maybe cleaned up, perhaps restored. I don’t know she ever fully recovered from the losses. I quickly got over the few toys that I lost. My brother never spoke of the event again.
Floods come. If we are lucky enough to suffer only small losses, we can move on more easily sometimes. And other times, not.