Bring Phil "Pip" Home

This is the story of the Saco River, a 100 year flood and how Mother Nature forgot to count. My grandfather, Phil "Pip" Lawson experienced the devastating effects of flooding from the Saco River Monday.He woke up after sleeping through the howling winds to see that the river had crested the river banks and steadily approached his deck. Water started pouring into his home and at its final stage there was 5 feet of water flowing through the entire lower level of his home.  6 years ago the same river wreaked havoc during hurricane Irene and what many indicated to be a "100 year flood". He lost the entire contents of the lower level of his house and was displaced for months. As we rebuilt and due to his age and ailing hips it was best that we moved his living space on the upper level of the home. Fast forward to now, this wasn't supposed to happen again. At 93 years old, my grandfather watched his home destroyed once again by the river he loves so much. As the sun came out we sat on the deck watching that river he loves as it receded out of his home and back "where she belonged". I watched him do the same thing 6 years ago and sat with him while he said "well, at least I won't see this again in my lifetime."Apparently Mother Nature forgot how to count because what was supposed to be a 100 year flood happened again in 6 years.

To further pour salt on the wound, my Aunt and Uncle had ALL their belongings stored in the lower level rooms during a renovation (remember, 100 year flood). They were only weeks away from moving the contents back across the street.My husband and I put the boots on, the work gloves on and got down and dirty in the muck shortly after 9am. Working hard with my 70 year old uncle, we quickly removed the contents, cleaned off the mud and started that long process of going through belongings and determining what was salvageable and what wasn't. This process has a strange way of showing you what truly matters, I feel a connection with that damn Saco because she has the strangest way of bringing family together. Much was lost. But a love letter my Mimi wrote my Pipi in the early 40's was UNTOUCHED, her lipstick sealed kiss still bright pink on the silt covered envelope. A wedding photo, dry. Photos of my cousin and her family,untouched, as the Rubbermaid they were stored in floated in the desperate rush of the river.

I feel fortunate to have the ability to stop all things important to me and get right to work with my family. What I wish I had more of though was the financial resources to help get my grandfather’s house back in livable condition, or fund a place for him to be during the next few months. I wish I had the resources to get my Aunt and Uncle's "stuff" back, because even though the valuables are mostly salvaged, it takes a lot to get the things back that you rely on every day. The damages will likely not be covered by any type of insurance. We need to replace windows, insulation, floor boards. We need to have the electrical systems checked on and inspected. We need the furnace evaluated. We don’t even know if it is structurally sound after two major floods. My grandfather is 93 and lives on a very small, fixed income that barely gets him through each month. Our family rarely, if ever asks for help. I'm throwing this out to the Universe because our family now, needs help. And so don't a lot of other families in our community, who have experienced this devastating flood twice in less than ten years. I pledge that what we don't use from any donation will be given back to an organization in our community that can help with these needs, but for now, I need to help my Pip rebuild and get situated, and I need to see my Aunt and Uncle smile again. If you can't make a financial donation I COMPLETELY understand, but if you can share the page, please do. If you have anyone willing to donate time or skills, please contact me. It is because of you all that the world will one day be a better place.

 
  • Jake Bauder 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Janet Sunkenberg  
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Mary and Len Seymour 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Anne Hartnett 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
See all

Organizer

Kristen Kebler Miller 
Organizer
North Conway, NH
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more