Saturday, September 9, 2017

     What thoughts run through your mind as you sit waiting for your life to be threatened? Do you want to apologize, thank, scold, forgive? Thoughts from “I hope they know that. . . “ to “I never should have. . . “ scroll through my head as a catastrophic natural disaster sneaks up on our beautiful land. Suddenly, things that seemed important and urgent are irrelevant as the last of the storm shutters finds its position on our tiny home. 

      Will the roof hold up? Will the walls crack? Will the windows break into tiny pieces like the pieces of my psyche that I’m trying so hard to hold together? Will I ever see my daughters again? Will I be hurt? Will we both die? Will our neighbors survive? Will our beautiful city stand its ground? 

     How does one brace oneself physically, emotionally, mentally for the unknown? I have never been in a position where I had absolutely no control. I have been out of control, but I always had a choice to regroup and move on. With a monster like this, all you can do is take care of everything and everyone possible and then keep the mind distracted yet alert. 

      Distracting the mind is relatively easy for me, as I have many projects; however, most of those need light to see and comfort to perform. One thing at a time. I’ve never had to be physically brave like this.  I have no manual, no tutor. Winging it in a crisis is not the best defense.

      I try not to think about all the money we have spent in this past year furnishing and decorating our little retirement jewel. It doesn’t matter. I try not to focus on what could happen, but rather think about what skills I will need to cope with what will happen. When all this just makes me more anxious, I get on my knees and ask the Big Guy for strength—not just for me but for all who need it. 

     There is no real comfort in knowing that thousands of others are enduring the same fears. There is no solace in knowing that others have survived such events because every disaster is unique and there are no guarantees. 

     As we all brace for the worst and pray for the best, I am thankful for the 74-year ride of fun, love, joy and happiness. Assuming we all come out whole, let’s be kind, compassionate, empathetic and selfless.