A Time to Give Thanks

This year, Thanksgiving has new meaning for me.

 

Two days ago, the landscape surrounding my home changed. In the blink of an eye, the trees that shaded me on my neighborhood walks were gone. The homes filled with neighbors who waved and smiled as I walked past, were taken in a mass of twirling wind and debris.

They labeled it an EF-2 Tornado. It took seconds to alter the world my children grew up in. To remove decades of memories. To send people scrambling for shelter as the funnel took so much from so many.

In the end, it only took things from my town. No one died. Things can be found, bought, made or replaced. People can not.

I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of love, generosity and dedication that a small town like mine has. Even the people who lost every possession,  focused on the things they still had. Children, pets, friends, all intact.

I was without power for 30 hours. I lost food. Just food. I have so much to be thankful for.

This Thanksgiving, I have a new understanding of what is important.

As I stood in my basement Sunday afternoon with my husband, waiting as the storm passed over my tiny, crooked house, I prayed and thanked God that two of my four children were not with us. I knew we were dying and the only comfort I had was that two of my children would survive.

It seems silly now, looking back, that I consciously thanked God for saving them, and allowing the other two to be with us for their final moments.

When the storm passed, and the house still stood, I rejoiced that we all were going to live. That I would see my older kids again. That we had another chance to live, to make a difference in this world.

As the neighborhood emerged from shelter, we saw the destruction. We jumped in our truck and drove through the tattered remnants of our neighborhood before EMS could respond, listening for cries for help amongst the rubble, but heard none. Not one single cry.

Monday, as I stood in the middle of my home. Worrying about the food spoiling in my freezers and refrigerators, I was brought to tears by the delivery of a hot meal from a friend not affected by the storm. She knew I was cold, and probably hungry and she brought me warm food. Not a fancy, expensive, store-bought meal, but homemade beef and noodles and the creamiest, love-filled mashed potatoes ever.

I never have enjoyed a meal more.

It’s still a huge mess. Many are homeless. Others are picking up pieces and putting things back together. Some still have no power.

Today, as I cut apples and pears for cobblers that I will deliver, steaming hot to those only 600 feet from my kitchen, who are clearing debris from the rubble that was once their homes, I give thanks. For all we still have.

Be Blessed

~LN

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