Rebuilding With A Helping Hand

"I'm actually standing on the house right now. This was a 2 story with a basement. Everything collapsed," Glenda Walker said.

On the day Glenda Walker's log cabin burned she was relieved her husband and pets had survived the flames, but there was a sense of helplessness that overpowered her.

"I don't want to recall the house burning down. I do want to recall what happened aftewards because I think that's truly the amazing part," Glenda said.

Glenda was at a loss. Rash thoughts ran through her mind. She was even reluctant to move into a rental house. Then the Stephen F. Austin state university's nursing department that Glenda chairs boldly stepped in.

They walked into my office and said, "Glenda, you're making bad mistakes. You're not thinking clearly right now. We want you to go ahead and rent the house, give us the keys,and leave town."

Three days later, Glenda walked into a fully furnished home.

"They had gone in there and taken the house and put pictures and personal belongings of mine, right to bubble bath in bathroom," Glenda said.

Glenda's co-worker and good friend Karen Migl led the effort. She wanted Glenda, her husband Rowland, and their dalmatians to achieve a sense of normalcy.

"You just have to keep moving forward and you think about how you can move forward and I think they've done a lot this year in spite of everything that has happened," Karen said.

Glenda is rebuilding in the same spot, but this time no logs.

"We're building now concrete steel construction that can't burn," Glenda said.

Glenda wants a home of comfort, but safety has become a primary concern.

"We have a concrete house with a concrete safe room," a contractor said.

"And that's for tornadoes and those kind of things," Glenda said.

The strength of the manmade materials can't even match the security her friends provided.

"Where you know that if anything happens that there are going to be people there to reach out, to support you when you don't have the strength to walk the road alone," Glenda said.

For this Glenda Walker is truly thankful.