The Mouse River Flood has proven to be a difficult experience for many in the valley to bounce back from.
Astronomical bills to rebuild, struggling to find help to get the work done -- the task has been a monumental one.
For Darla Swanson of Minot...rebuilding her flooded home got even tougher this year, when tragedy struck her house.
But from tragedy, eternal friendships have blossomed...friendships that will have her back home soon.
Perry Olson explains.
This Eastwood Park home -- belongs to Darla and Kent Swanson. 30 plus years this has been home...the flood last summer damaged it heavily and was certainly tough to take...but nothing compared to what happened this summer...
"lung cancer is what it was but it had spread to his liver..."
Kent passed away August 15th after a three month battle...Darla -- kept working...all, keeping in mind Kent's desire to return this home to its historic glory...
(Darla Swanson - Eastwood Park Resident) "When I was varnishing the kitchen floors...I was thinking...I hope Kent thinks this is ok..."
But this is a job no person can do alone...lucky for Darla, she is hardly alone.
(Jerry Hanson - Volunteer from Wisconsin) "That was our target...to help Darla."
Meet Jerry Hanson and part of his crew from Wisconsin. Hope Village drew them to Minot earlier this year when they forged a special relationship with the Swansons...
(Jerry Hanson - Volunteer from Wisconsin) "Kent was already ill the time we came here..."
Eventually, work to hang the sheetrock and finish the walls was complete...and they went home. But when cancer took Kent, it was obvious the job for them here, wasn't complete...
(Jerry Hanson - Volunteer from Wisconsin) "We knew we were available and let's see if we can help her...and we are glad we came."
It's a gesture Darla can hardly talk about...
(Darla Swanson - Eastwood Park Resident) "Amazed...very happy..."
...her feelings are certain in the tears though...About a half dozen from Wisconsin will be here the next few weeks finishing this house...and getting Darla back in it. She oversees the project -- and that's good!
(Jerry Hanson - Volunteer from Wisconsin) "She is keeping us in line and we are glad! She can tell us how she wants it."
Soon it will be time to move back home out of the FEMA trailer...sure an exciting time -- but that too may be a hard change...
(Darla Swanson - Eastwood Park Resident) "Yes...but Kent's death hasn't hit me yet and I think it will when I get in the house..."
She is apprehensive -- yet excited to get back she says...back to the home exactly as Kent wanted it...complete with a built in spot for a lifelong treasure of his -- his mother's toy stove...
(Darla Swanson - Eastwood Park Resident) "The cabinet designer put this in and this is where the stove will be...it has a spot, yes."
So does Darla, a spot back in Eastwood Park -- thanks to Hope Village, volunteers like Jerry and crew...and the memory of husband Kent. In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.
Darla credits Hope Village for giving her exactly that -- hope this summer...when she needed it most.
And even with her husband Kent's passing, the Village grew stronger.
All memorials given in his memory, have gone directly to Hope Village helping hundreds continue to rebuild homes -- and lives -- following the Mouse River flood.