We woke today to light rain and no flooding. It looks like the worst is over for us. The plan now is to clean up, get rid of what’s damaged and pack everything else up while we wait and see what happens with the house itself. We are beyond relieved to have escaped this with everybody healthy and just property damage.
One of the most emotional moments came when our friend Belinda offered to start a collection to help us with damages. We were so touched she offered and at the time standing in ankle deep water in my office, so we said of course. Let me tell you, we had NO idea we would receive the outpouring of love and support we received. We are touched and blown away.
Tough times really show who your friends are and Monica and I have the most wonderful friends, fans and family on earth. This could have been a disaster beyond property damage. We haven’t been able to work and, well I’m sure you can imagine. The fund will help so much. It looks like we have some pretty major repairs in the future and without insurance we simply could not afford it without this help.
We saw the account this morning and it triggered another round of tears but we feel that there is more then enough to help us in the weeks and months ahead. Because of all of you we can breath a lot easier today. We will never be able to thank all of you enough.
I think there is a fine line between accepting help and taking advantage and we do not want to take advantage. We are going to ask Belinda to take down the PayPal fund later today. If you have ongoing auctions you can PayPal those to email@example.com. That email will continue to work.
If you’d like to help out more the best way you can help is to order from our stores. Stock was not damaged so we still have just about everything. For me you can order from http://www.steveniles.net/store.html and for Monica you can order from http://www.monicarichards.com/merch.htm
I also encourage donations to the Red Cross. http://www.redcross.org/tx/austin
We have a long road ahead but as I said everybody is safe and that’s all I care about. Somehow knowing all of you are out there makes us feel much safer. It’s like we have a thousand personal Batman’s waiting to swing in and help us. That’s an amazing feeling to have. I’m very proud and humbled by comics and fandom right now. You guys really saved the day and I am forever in your debt.
I love you guys and I will never forget how much you helped us.
This has been an overwhelming few days. I honestly never knew that the sound of thunder and rain would cause so much fear, it’s always something I’ve absolutely loved. But watching water rise and then come on in, with no way to stop it – I don’t think Steve or I will every forget the horror we felt as we scrambled to get things up – and then that kind of abandon that comes when you just can’t fight Nature anymore. In those first moments of panic, I ran outside and watched Steve hugging Gil to his chest while wading through the flood waters, giant tree trunk stumps floating by us as I reached him – I’ll never forget that sight. Once Steve got him inside and plunked him down on towels and sheets and pillows, everything piled at the door, Gil sat quietly and then went to sleep. We knew everyone was safe, and that’s all that mattered. In the end, as the rain kept pounding, we started to just shake our heads and almost laugh as the water continued to seep in all over the house. But once things died down and the creek receded, we were numb and in shock.
Belinda’s offer came in; we could not say no – we both knew we were in serious trouble. And as the donations poured in, we cried our eyes out as the reality of our situation began to sink in. The generosity and love that has come our way is unbelievable. We’re just beginning to move forward on cleanup, now that we know the worst is over, and then we face the restoration process. But we can do that knowing we’ll be okay, thanks to everyone who has helped us.
Steve and I are both freelance, we live check to check. It’s a struggle, but it’s the life of an artist, the path we both chose. When I don’t work, I don’t get paid. And I am not able to work right now as we figure out this mess and pack things up.
From the very bottom of our hearts, we won’t forget this – we’ll pay it forward in everything we do. To our friends and fans, we love you so much. Who knows where we’ll be in the next few months, but we’ll be okay. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you.