To begin, I was one of the Florida residents who heeded the advice of the authorities and left before Irma hit with all of her force and intensity.
As hard as it was to leave, the wait to get back home is even more difficult. As more pictures from my South Florida town become available, they cause a whirlwind of “what if” questions to swirl around my head – probably faster than the hurricane winds that wreaked so much havoc on so many.
I can’t help but think of the friends and neighbors who decided to stay and ride out the storm. Are they okay? What did they see when they opened their doors after the storm passed? Early reports told of uprooted trees in swimming pools and blown out windows and flooded streets strewn with downed power lines. At a time like this, it is hard to comprehend the immensity of nature’s full force.
What if my home has been leveled or buried in mud and rendered uninhabitable? How will I cope? Where will I live? are questions that cause both great worry and a sense of kinship with those with whom I share the same experience.
The Calm After The Storm
Amid the upset and uncertainty, I was moved deeply by the number of people – dear friends from far and wide, past and present, who have reached out to me to see if I was okay and to offer me their prayers and emotional support.
It is at times like these that you realize what is important, as this experience has re-opened my eyes to the gift of friendship. The worry about my home has now given way to a feeling of gratitude for the relationships I have, and the love and caring I received.
While I am still concerned about my home, the “what if” uneasiness has been replaced by a “whatever will be, will be” calmness.
In the end, even though the storms of life may at times shake you to your very foundations, it is the relationships that you have that provide the answers you need to the most important questions in life.