Reasons To Be Thankful

We have so, so many things to be thankful for, and this week I have been very thankful that Superstorm Sandy didn’t hit us as hard as it could have. On the flip side of that, my heart goes out to those who were caught in it, and who are suffering still. The news coming out of New York and New Jersey is unbelievable, unthinkable, and yet there it is, real. Certain stories have grabbed hold of me more than others…

I found myself scanning the news for more information on the young mother whose sons were torn from her arms by rising floodwaters, on Staten Island. Her low-lying home was flooding, so she and her two kids, two-year-old and four-year-old boys,  got into their SUV and tried to drive out of the area. The car stalled in the water. She got both kids out of the car,  and she was carrying the toddler and holding the older boy by the hand when a wave hit them. It was over her head, and she was knocked down. She lost both of them.

This story has been kind of haunting me all week. I’ll be on my commute, thinking about that poor woman, how awful that experience must have been, and still must be… then, thinking up flood contingency plans, like how to escape from a submerging vehicle, wondering if I can get the kids’ car seat buckles undone from various angles, in the dark, underwater.

It’s awful. But what can you do? What can you do when you hear a story like that? I can pray for the family, I can donate money to the Red Cross, but otherwise, all I can do is try to learn, to take some kind of lesson away from that poor family’s experience.

I know we’ll take any future storm warnings more seriously. This one, we were fairly prepared. We had water, canned foods, flashlights. My afternoon clinic was cancelled. Hubby was home. But I was out and about a bit during the storm… to take fresh-baked cookies to our neighbors. Totally appreciated, but unnecessary. It was exhilarating, though! The wind was whipping up leaves and twigs and branches  and a garbage can from down the street; the rain was pelting sideways. I had put on boots and Hubby’s raincoat. I bent forward against the wind and rang the doorbells of our two closest neighbors, both families with young kids also. It was funny to see their expressions when they answered the door, and I handed them still-warm cookies, in the middle of a hurricane!

But now, reading the reports, I see that many people died that way, out and about during the storm, to walk their dog, or take pictures of damage. Power lines can come down; trees fall.

Next time, we’ll all stay inside. We’ll respect the warnings.

And we are so, so thankful for all that we have.

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