Confession No. 143 — The sun shines on Houston

It’s been said that the sun will come up tomorrow, and it did in Houston on this late August day. That bright light truly came much earlier for my family, though I wanted to doubt its presence.

 “We’ve never had best friends,” my wife said to me. “Mario and Linda are our best friends, I think.”

First, it should be known that Catherine is spot on. Neither of us, I believe, have ever desired best friends. We get along with people and even socialize with a select few. But we’ve always been standoffish. I’m not sure why.

Mario and Linda — the Enriquez family from next door — are different. But so too are the many people who have called and appeared at our doorstep during our darkest hours.

“Grab this pizza,” Debbie told Catherine as we forced open the storm-warped door to our surprise guests. “Danny is bringing in the fans and extension cords, and Chef Roy is on the way with tools.”

The people I speak of are folks who barely knew us … until they helped pick up our floating socks, underwear and photo albums from our flood-ravaged home.

We love them too.

As modest as we are, the deluge rendered us mostly indolent. It’s funny how catastrophes tend to bring on such lax feelings. It’s sort of like going to the doctor for a yearly checkup versus an emergency visit. There comes a point when there is no more guard to let down.

Our guardian angels could not have cared less. They came to help us recover from our hell.

“Your G note sounds wonderful,” Mario told me and his wife as we practiced our guitars, following a long day of cleaning the Dive House of saturated flooring and insulation. “It’s the best G note I’ve ever heard.”

Catherine grinned from the end of the couch, but neither she nor Mario could hold back their laughter. Linda and I just shook our heads and played on.

She’s a beginner guitar player with a beautiful voice. My strumming is about as out-of-tune as it gets, and I refuse to realize that I sound much better in the shower.

But that’s what best friends say. And do.

Best friends insist on helping you, even when you don’t believe you need it. They show up, without your approval, and work to help you recover. They call. They write. They make sure you know they are waiting in the wings. Just for you.

Mario and Linda may well be our best friends. They are our guardian angels for sure. We love them (and like them — a lot). We’ve learned that there are also other best friends. People we knew, barely knew or didn’t know at all. They came to our rescue with nothing in mind but helping us.

I want to know these people. A lot more.

And I’d like to test our friendship on the sound of my best G note … with Linda’s accompanying vocals, of course.


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  1. Beautiful words Adam.

  2. I am so glad you are writing and finding sunshine amidst the soaked socks and underwear. We are praying for all of you! <3

  3. Mary Marshall says:

    I’ve loved reading your recent blog posts, they’re so inspiring because they bring back a belief in the goodness of mankind. So sorry you have had to go through all this; been thinking about you guys and praying things will be better soon. One thought though, I know you were probably taught to share, but you really didn’t need to share #hurricaneharvey with us in SC. We are supposed to get heavy rains from that system starting tonight into tomorrow … LOL, crazy, right?

    • adamjholland says:

      Don’t y’all have something else brewing as well? My goodness, Mary. If that old saying about ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is true, I might be the next one in the ring with Floyd Mayweather. Y’all stay high and dry out there. And thank you for your very kind words.

  4. Yeah, what Sara said! So good to hear you have such good friends there! Continuing prayers for your family and all of southeast TX dealing with Harvey. Hugs to you all!

  5. I can hear that slight ring of hope in your voice again. it’s been missing for about a week. Not surprisingly of course, given the hell you went through — but you came out on the other side with new best friends and renewed sense of humanity. BTW, I think there’s a guy you can get a mattress from in Houston! 😉

    • adamjholland says:

      Funny you should mention Jim McIngvale (‘Mattress Mack’), because we will be replacing all of our furniture through his Gallery Furniture store. I don’t even know what brands or styles they sell, but it doesn’t matter. When a man opens his (furniture) stores for people to come and seek shelter, he has our business — forever. (It’ll be a while before we can buy furniture. Quite a while. But still.) H.E.B. also owns our loyalty for life with the running of their 18-wheelers to feed people.

  6. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing a bit of sunshine with us. Wishing you and your family a quick turnaround.

  7. Great news to begin our PNW day. Proud of all of you. You’ve got guts.

  8. You have so much to digest and write about now, Adam. Use this talent to share w/the world, just like you’ve done here. This tragedy and all it will continue to bring might just be the turning point and be your gift. Sending love and hugs to you and Catherine

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Ally. Writing is pretty much all I have. (People get tired of hearing me talk. And Willie Nelson is a classical opera tenor, compared to me and my singing.) Can’t wait to see your stories in the upcoming magazine release. 🙂

  9. Melina Bush says:

    Love you, kiddo. Continued prayers for the rough days.

  10. Love this Adam! We lived through Hugo and learned a lot about the awesome people in our lives as well as learning about ourselves! Continued prayers and (((HUGS)))!

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you so much, Lynn. This is a first for us, but won’t likely be the last. We are stronger now, for sure.

  11. My thoughts are with you and Catherine , Adam. Have been watching from afar, but expect we’ll be down to help with clean up as soon as we can. My in laws are safe, but flooded and now my brother in law was just flooded tonight. I believe in the humanity of people and tragedy always seems to bring out the best in most folks. Guess it’s always opposites that attract. Count me as your friend and one day we’ll toast with a proper beer. And maybe you’ll play the guitar. This too, shall pass.

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Abbe. When you come, be sure and call on us to help. We want to start paying forward as soon as possible.

  12. Adam, I’m so glad to see a post from you. I’ve been thinking about you a lot over the past week. I knew you’d check in when you could. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. Wish I could be there to help.

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Lea Ann. Knowing that there are people out there who have us in their thoughts has worked wonders for us. It’ll be a long road to recovery, but we’ll get there. 🙂

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