Friday, May 6, 2011
What Matters Most
Last week Alabama was ravaged by a massive storm system that spawned over 20 tornadoes. People were killed, houses destroyed, property damaged. The entire northern portion of the state was without power for up to a week (some still haven't had power restored) and our utilities are still unstable and subject to additional outages.
I was unaware of the damage as I was up in Shelbyville, TN for Carol Coppinger's first Tennessee Super Camp. We had some bad weather but nothing compared to what they suffered at home. It wasn't until my friend called Thursday morning that I became aware of the events of the previous 24 hours. My first thought was my family - my mother, father, sister, brother-in-law and niece. Were they safe?
The power was out, the phones were out and the cell networks were so overloaded calls just weren't going through. I had no idea the status of my family. It's hard to maintain emotional fitness in those moments. Time stood still and my heart stopped beating. My family is my world and what would life be like without them?
It wasn't until much later that I was able to reach my brother-in-law. Though he wasn't with my sister and my parents, he'd spoken to them after the storms has passed and before the phone lines went dead. They were safe. Thank God.
Throughout the day, I checked in with my friends and slowly reports of "we are all fine" filtered in. My home was safe and my horses were unharmed. I have several friend who narrowly survived. They have major property damage but no loss of life - people or animals.
I returned to work Wednesday, once power was restored to my office building. Each day - as I drive to work and return to my home - I have to pass by one of the worst disaster sites. The tornado worked it's way through a neighborhood then crossed the street to lay waste to a pharmacy, gas station and grocery store. It's almost crazy to see the credit union with barely a scratch and nothing but rubble where the gas station, not 100ft away, used to stand.
I have some very cool things going on with both horses. I want to post about my amazing lesson with Wendy Morgan, 2* Junior Instructor. But now just isn't the time. Hug your loved ones. Never end a conversation without an "I love you." Kiss your horses and stroke them as if it's the first time you've met and the last time you may see them. Life is a precious and fragile gift.