Part of First Lady Melania Trump's and Second Lady Karen Pence's visit to the Coastal Bend Wednesday included a visit with a Rockport family whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.
Mario and Rosemary Zimmerano's home took a beating in the storm. The rear half of the home was literally torn away. They are now living in a FEMA manufactured housing unit with their five children.
The family had evacuated during Harvey but returned to find very little left.
"We took off. Then we came back and it was a hole. Choked up and didn't know what to expect," Mario Zimmerano said. "We pulled together, me and my wife, and we had help from other people, and crews in Rockport came in and helped. Volunteers. And that was a really big stress relief for us."
Both Mario and Rosemary have full-time jobs while raising their five children. They were both encouraged by the First Lady's visit.
"Very unexpected, but of course I hope and pray that the message gets out that we're still here, and we will be here regardless; but then again, we just need the help, you know?" Rosemary said.
The couple hopes the First Lady's visit will keep attention on the area first hit by the storm.
Rosemary is a school teacher at Sacred Heart in Rockport. She said she can't wait to see her students when the school reopens.
The family said they are ready for Christmas with a simple message.
"It's all about the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrating that, and just being thankful for what we have and what we were given, and lots of blessings come along the way," the Zimmerano's said. "So that's what it's all about."
Mario and Rosemary said they hope no one is forgotten and that everyone gets into a house by Christmas.
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