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True grit

"True grit" Continued...

Issue: "Divided we stand," Dec. 1, 2012

Geoghehan’s five children almost all live within a few miles, and their homes flooded too, but not as badly as hers. The Geoghehans are a family of first responders: Her children work for the police and fire departments and were also working through the storm in 12-hour shifts. “We’re used to being the ones helping, not the ones asking for help,” said Kevin Geoghehan, Jane’s son who works for the local police department and is a paramedic. He joined first responders down south in 2005 to help during Hurricane Katrina. The smells of Sandy brought Katrina rushing back to him: seawater mixed with sheetrock and everything else. 

Jane Geoghehan was a tough paramedic as she stood in her wrecked kitchen and watched Samaritan’s Purse volunteers rip carpet, floorboards, sheetrock, and cabinets out of her house of 50 years. She offered to drive the workers back and forth to bathrooms whenever necessary. “I told my kids, ‘Now you don’t have to clean out my house when I die,’” she said. But she paused for a second after mentioning that she lost her wedding pictures. Her husband died in 2006. “It’s horrible, but you can’t do anything about it. … I can’t afford to move. I’ll replace what I can. I’m lucky I have very close family.” Another one of her sons came in to check on his mom and then asked a Samaritan’s Purse supervisor about bringing a team to rip out flooded insulation at his house. 

“I don’t know why it happened,” said Graybeal, the Samaritan’s Purse site director. “But every community I go to, I see God’s people rise up. … It’s not about rejection. It’s about restoration. That’s what we see.”

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emzleb.

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