Amy Bouquet is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Melanie Bouquet.
My name is Amy Bouquet and I am from Seguin, Texas. I am raising money for my parents. My parents who always smile and say, “We will figure it out.” My parents who have suffered a reset from, now, two natural disasters. As a young family, we were among many who were unpleasantly surprised by the flood of ‘98 that took everything. Our house was completely submerged in water, in an area that had not flooded for more than thirty years, leaving little but bones of a house that had been owned less than one year. A six year old and a five year old learning to use a shovel, and a baby on hip, my parents picked up and carried on. With much help, we rebuilt, taller this time. No matter how high we built, we couldn’t have escaped what came next. My dad’s work was being sold out, after 16 years being a Production Supervisor at this company, he was one year short of taking their full retirement program, and the new company had nothing near the benefits. When the new company took over, he retired anyways, jipped, but better than being let go from the new company’s unpredictable cuts. He took a part time job as school bus driver, and focused on a small business he invested in, a car wash. Not long after, my dad was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called vasculitis. We took a big hit on medical bills, as he was put on the same chemotherapy that some cancer patients use, and the limited health benefits from his “early” retirement and part time job were not enough. During the first wave of treatment, my dad was too sick to keep up with his car wash. My mom who suffers from fibromyalgia and my three siblings and I who had school, couldn’t only do so much to help with our limited knowledge. We just didn’t have the recourses to keep it going. We fought this battle for years, it was like pushing a boulder up a hill. My mom opened snow cone stand to help supplement, but it just seemed like no matter what we did, it wasn’t enough. The business was decaying and we weren’t making enough money to update it the way it needed. Trying to keep our heads above water, my parents sold the house and the business for what we could, with the mission to homestead. Paying off debts and loans, we didn’t have much change left over, but we did have enough to invest that in some acreage, and the first bulk of materials it would take to start building again. My mom got a new job as a bus driver along with my dad, eager to help make a difference. Despite my parents’ health, we took on the challenge of building something as a family from scratch. We chose to build ourselves, although there was only six of us, we would be doing much needed saving on labor, and learning a craft. It was slower that way, but we did have help from the boyfriends, friends, and even extended family. It was slower progress, with the learning curve along with school and work, but every bit of progress was earned. Every milestone was a mountain we had personally conquered, as a familial unit. We were living at our grandparents while we built, eager to one day have a place of our own, a house that my parents could proudly own. However, a little less than two years of work was demolished along with many other homes hit by Hurricane Harvey. Two years of what my family worked so hard to achieve was gone. Where we lived wasn’t particularly close to the coast, but the winds that picked up from the storm were stronger than we anticipated. Our hard work had been reset to square one, only this time we don’t have anything left to invest in building materials. Everything we had went into that property. Now all we can do, is save what materials we can, and persist. My parent's’ afflictions never stopped them from trying or never kept them from pushing ahead. They just smiled and said, “We will figure it out.” My family of 6 had created a bond like none other. No matter what we got hit with we always came together and helped each other along. It was the way we grew up, and the way that we had survived; together. And together we aspired to give my parents the life they deserved. All their lives they were having to run, just to stay one step ahead of some tragedy. Under the thumb of bills, and something always setting them back. It just felt like we could never quite get ahead no matter how hard we tried. We were fortified in destruction, and we rise from it every time. You would think it would stain your every attempt, failure. However, no matter how many failures, I had the privilege of watching my dad try again anyways. Growing up with my family, watching my parents tackle every difficulty they have, has taught me an unfailing resilience that I am forever grateful for. It gives me courage to see the capabilities of someone no matter where they are in life. We are so lucky to have my entire family still safe from Harvey. I know many families whose suffering is much greater than mine. We are blessed to still be able to hold on to each other in our time of need. We have struggled for a long time now, and just need a break. Anything you could do for us would be so appreciated. Any help we can get will make a big difference. Any size contribution will help us be able to purchase the materials we lost and allow us to start building, and hopefully make up for the progress we lost. I am trying everything in my power to help my parents through a rough patch. They are having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at this point, but I want to show them what they have taught me my entire life, that anything is possible. My parents are already blown away with the support we have recieved and will be able to start withdrawing soon to get their dream home started. Please continue to share and God bless!