01 September 2017

Hurricane Harvey and The Leyndyke Family

I woke up Friday, August 25th feeling like a weight had been lifted from my chest. My stress level lowered immensely.  I was happy!  My parents, after three months of preparation, were safely ensconced in an independent senior living apartment.  I knew they would be safe and secure.  If they needed help, it was available. I felt like I had energy to do a few things that I had let go over the past couple of years. Well, you know what they say-"we plan-God laughs".

Intersection of Braesmont and Braeswood, Houston-about 4 miles from Travis and Alayna's home.

Never did I think that a once in a 1,000 years flood would hit the area of Houston, Texas during my planning! Houston, the town my son, Travis, and his wife, Alayna, and my grand-pup, Caesar, called home. No matter how old your children are you never stop worrying about them.  Anyone who has seen the news in the last week has seen the devastation that Hurricane Harvey wrought on the area.

Luckily, my son, who is an assistant athletic director at Rice University, was traveling for work when Harvey hit shore.  He had the trip of a lifetime.  He traveled with the Rice Owls football team to Sydney, Australia for the Sydney Cup where Rice University played Stanford University.  It was an awesome opportunity for Travis.

Caesar surviving Hurricane Harvey

Alayna, his wife, had a wedding to attend in Connecticut.  They had a reliable dog-sitter, Elizabeth, who it turns out was God-sent.  They were safe, but unable to return home to Caesar and their house.

Travis arrived to the United States and was redirected to Fort Worth, Texas where he and the Rice contingent have been staying since Monday.  Alayna was able to fly to Dallas and Monday night they were reunited.  They knew the dog sitter had taken Caesar to her home, which was a upper level apartment and prayed all were safe. They had no way of knowing what condition their house was in as they had just moved there in July and didn't know the neighbor's phone numbers. Roads were impassable. They were glued to the news, social media, and area flood maps looking for information about their neighborhood.

As I write this, Travis and Alayna, are preparing to board a bus to return to Houston for the first time since Harvey hit.  They have no idea what they will find once they get to their house.  I have been a nervous wreck worrying about them.  Travis does a great job of keeping me informed, but it is not the same as being there to take care of them.  Once a mother, always a mother!

I sit patiently (okay, I may be stretching the truth a little) and wait to hear from Travis and Alayna and the condition of their home. I am preparing mental lists of items I can take to them, if needed.  My husband and I are ready to jump in the car at a moment's notice to help with the clean up.

I have researched disasters and the impact they have had on my ancestor's, but I never thought I would be recording a monumental disaster that Hurricane Harvey is for a descendant, my son, no less.

Travis and Alayna are only two of the thousands of people affected by Harvey, but they are the two most important ones in my life.  Relief efforts are underway across Houston and the United States. Many, many people are volunteering to help those who need it.  I am just waiting for my turn.


  1. Such a heartfelt post, Brenda. I hope you hear soon from your family, and that the news is not as bad as you feared.

  2. Thank you, Sue. It isn't. I will be updating on it today.