Parkway Place Residents Reflect on Hurricane Harvey One Year Later
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Posted by: Julianna Ems
HOUSTON, August 15, 2018 – Imagine treading through waist-deep water to get out of your home. That was the reality for Sue Stone, 94, one year ago when Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the city of Houston. Stone was able to escape unharmed but remembers the devastating events that took place last summer, and she’s not alone. Margery Ambrose, 90, was forced to leave her Memorial-area home when water began flowing into her living room. It’s a story all too familiar for many Houston residents, but luckily these ladies found a new place to call home. They are two of the nearly 20 people who moved into Parkway Place (a faith-based, nonprofit senior living community) after the floods. While they lost most of their belongings, the two women don’t dwell on the negative things and have spent the last year starting a new chapter in their lives.
Ambrose and her husband lived in their home for nearly 50 years. It’s where they raised their kids, retired and hoped to spend many more years, but mother nature had a different plan. When water started to fill their home, a nearby neighbor told them it was time to get out. With short notice and a few items in hand, Ambrose and her husband escaped and stayed with her children until they decided to move to the senior living community. Ambrose says her home was filled with at least four feet of water and many precious items, including irreplaceable photographs, were ruined. She says returning to her longtime home was emotional, but she was thankful for the support of her children and the team members at Parkway Place.
“We lived about a block from Buffalo Bayou, but never had any problems with flooding before,” said Ambrose. “What happened to our home was something we could have never imagined. It was shocking, and it all happened so fast. Seeing my home for the first time after the floods brought tears to my eyes. I was able to save some clothing and other items upstairs, but most of it was ruined. We weren’t planning on moving into a senior living community yet, but mother nature helped us make that decision a little sooner than we wanted. When we looked at Parkway Place, I realized I knew 18 people who lived there, and decided it was a place for me and my husband to call home. Life since Harvey is hard to describe. It’s been extremely emotional. My husband and I were married for 65 years, and he passed away shortly after the flood. Losing my home and my husband in a short period of time was hard, but my daughter encouraged me to participate in activities at Parkway Place, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I sign up for pretty much everything now. My faith has sustained me, and I am grateful to be at Parkway Place.”
Stone has lived in Houston for more than 50 years, 10 of those at her Memorial-area townhouse. The 94-year-old was alone when her home started to flood. After the electricity cut off, Stone felt water at her feet. She looked out the window and saw water everywhere and realized she needed to leave. She called her daughter to come get her, grabbed her medicine and some belongings and walked through waist-deep water to be rescued. After the storm, she returned to her home and retrieved several items but lost memorable mementos such as scrapbooks with photos of her late husband. Like Ambrose, Stone didn’t think it was time to move to a senior living community, but after praying one night she realized Parkway Place would be the next phase in her journey.
“God protected me through Harvey and gave me the peace I needed to make the decision to move to Parkway Place,” said Stone. “Even though I lost most of my belongings, I didn’t grieve as much as I expected. I decided not to focus on the negative things and look on the bright side of the situation. When I went back to my home for the first time I met the new owner of the home. It was comforting to meet her and see the changes she was making. It gave me the reassurance I needed to move on. It is a blessing that I came to Parkway Place. It truly is a wonderful place to be with great people. Since there are so many of us ‘floodies,’ we joked that we will need to form a group at the community. It’s been a rough year, but I can honestly say I feel at home.”
“We admire the strength Sue and Margery have shown over the last year,” said Susan Phelps, executive director at Parkway Place. “We can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for them and all the members who now call Parkway Place home. We also had several employees who were affected by the floods. We are thankful we were there for everyone during their time of need and will continue to be there if they ever need anything.”
ABOUT PARKWAY PLACE
Parkway Place in Houston, a Buckner Retirement Services community, is a nonprofit, faith-based senior living community located on a 15-acre manicured campus that includes flowers, walking paths, gazebos, benches and raised gardens, putting green, as well as an outdoor heated pool and spas. It is also one of the few Independent Living communities in West Houston that has no entrance fees or long-term contracts and provides spacious apartment residences on a rental basis. As a life plan community, Parkway Place offers Independent Living apartment residences, spacious Assisted Living, and innovative Memory Care and Skilled Nursing services.
At Parkway Place, members can enjoy delicious dining and warm fellowship in beautifully arranged dining rooms, as well as maintain active lifestyles at the wellness center. The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, chapel, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon and weekly housekeeping/linen service. For more information about Parkway Place, please visit the community website at www.bucknerparkwayplace.org or call (281) 677–5912.
ABOUT BUCKNER RETIREMENT SERVICES
Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving people each year in the United States and worldwide.
Contact: Chelsi Smith/Amy Jones, The Point Group.
Phone: 214-378-7970 ext. 238/302
Mobile: 956-358-3300 / 469-261-7544