The people that will be most affected by a “greater Cedar Rapids” were staying home, or were still coping in FEMA trailers where the water pipes routinely burst in the harsh Iowa winter, or were living with relatives, or had simply disappeared and moved on or given up. They had sold theirflooded houses for a song or had taken out a mortgage at the age of seventy. They were buried under massive mounds of bureaucratic paperwork, trying to get a check so they could rebuild or relocate. They were scrubbing the mud off their ruined homes. Their neighborhoods were gone. Their nerves were frayed. Their hearts were forever broken. This book is mainly about them—the people who did not attend the one-year commemoration—and why they stayed away. The people who had nothing, absolutely nothing to celebrate because everything had changed.