Dear friends, my mom and I have been overwhelmed by your well wishes, and we are incredibly thankful for your generous support.
Many of you have been asking for an update about the status of things in Houston. I have posted some pictures of the demolition and clean-up.
There is a long road ahead. We are grateful for your continued prayers and support.
My name is Jamie Reuben. I currently live in Chicago, but my parents live in Houston, Texas. Recently the city of Houston was devastated by the rains and flooding brought by Hurricane Harvey. Thousands of people have suffered irreparable damage and are wondering how to move on. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about one victim in particular, my mother.
My mother, Chriseda Reuben, is defined by her love for others and her calling to help them. It has been and continues to be the defining characteristic of her personality and the purpose of her life. As the oldest of 5 siblings, she became a caretaker at a young age, helping her parents raise a large family in the years following WW2. She has always been, and even now continues to be the matriarch and mother figure to her siblings, especially after her mother, my grandmother, died of leukemia when the youngest siblings (twins!) were 17 years old. It is no surprise that soon after her graduation from college my mother enlisted in the Peace Corps, spending three years as a nurse in Honduras, pouring her heart and soul into helping those in need in hospitals and communities. This humanitarian spirit drove her to pursue nursing as a career upon her return to the United States.
Her calling wasn't always easy. As she became the mother of 3 young daughters, she worked during the day in hospitals, doctor's offices, and even a stint as a volunteer school nurse. At the same time she was taking classes, pursing a degree in public health. She has told me how difficult it was to manage the demands of motherhood, work, and studies, describing her moments of crisis in which she considered giving up on her dreams. She never did. She earned her PhD in Public Health in 2007.
My mother has not ceased her mission, her calling, to help others. For years she has volunteered in our community in the Red Cross (providing comfort and assistance to victims of fire and other disasters) and in a youth program called Amigos (organizing young volunteers to undertake service missions throughout Mexico).
Now my mother is the one who needs help, though it would never occur to her to ask for it. Seven years ago, her house was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. She rebuilt the house from the foundation up, enduring a long and draining process of construction. Who would have imagined that she would be facing the same situation not even a decade later? As Hurricane Harvey devastated southern Texas and flood waters covered the city of Houston, she was evacuated from her home on Aug 26. She walked through stomach deep water to be rescued in a boat. In the process she suffered a strained back and a fractured metatarsal. She has lost everything, including all her furniture, clothes, shoes, car, rugs, everyday household items...everything. Through it all she has shown remarkable courage, determination, and spirit. There is no one more deserving of assistance than her. I would be eternally grateful for whatever measure of help and/or hope you all could provide as she contemplates and then begins rebuilding her life yet again. If nothing else, I ask that you keep her, and all our fellow Houstonians, in your prayers.
Note: All money raised will be withdrawn by me and given directly to my mother. It will be utilized towards construction costs of rebuilding the house, and to purchase necessesities such as clothing, bedding, pots/pans, furniture, a vehicle, etc.
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