The other day I was working with my archives and stumbled across a post I wrote back in 2012. It was when life was ‘normal’, the reality being that our normal still held it’s share of disasters. Many or most were not prolonged, like the virus that we are currently dealing with, but we still experienced the pain of loss. But I think the difference between then and now is, we knew it was going to happen and we could anticipate when it would be over, and when it was, we got up and rebuilt our physical and psychological lives.
I am going to repost this, partly because we all yearn for the old normal, and, in reality, the old normal wasn’t without it’s disasters either. And, as a reminder that, just like we have always done, we will overcome this virus, rebuild our lives, and adapt to our new normal.
It seems that we cannot read a paper or watch the news without a report of a flood, fire, drought, earthquake, hurricane or tornado somewhere. Is it that these occurrences are happening more frequently, or are we just more exposed to the all seeing eyes of the media. Either way, it just illustrates the fragile balance of our existence.
It has been a terrible year so far for many of our neighbors throughout the country. Thousands of families left without power, homes, or other means of providing for themselves. Lives and livelihoods lost. Time suspended in a maelstrom of water, debris, charred remains, and devastation. Again.
But we are a resilient lot. In the midst of the carnage arise the many who themselves are suffering, yet turn to help their neighbor. Strangers aiding strangers for no other reason or reward then that it is the right thing to do. The spirit that is America wells up within the breast of the ordinary man, lending hope and hands to those affected.
Disaster is not selective. It favors no one. Wealthy and poor alike stare at the remnants of their lives, being thankful that theirs has been spared. The elderly are returned to where they began, many years ago. Children are traumatized by the loss of every icon of security they have ever known. Yet, through it all, lives are rebuilt. The brick and mortar is replaced with new businesses, new homes. Life again returns to some semblance of order, offering the promise of tomorrow. It is what we do. It is who we are. Only the scars remain, hidden but never healed. They serve as reminders of the worst and the best of what has gone before, knowing full well that there are no guarantees for the future. It is a time that defines us.
I watched a reporter interview a man with a young daughter who had lost his home. During the interview, he bent down and asked the little girl how she was doing. Her response moved me and I will carry it with me forever. She said simply “I want to go to sleep but I don’t know how”. God bless the children.
Today I would add, We all want that Sweetheart, waking in a world we knew, where we felt safe and secure, but I’m afraid we don’t know how either.