I remember Hurricane Andrew. I was 12 and my cousins came to Florida for the first time. I remember how excited they were to be in town and catch a real live hurricane. I remember walking around the lake with my family because the wind felt so good. I can still hear our neighbor smiling as he walked by us “Taking one last walk before the storm?”
I remember huddling in the hallway. Nine of us wrapped in blankets with a lantern and a radio as one by one each window in the house crashed and the wind poured through. Judgment day was here, you couldn’t convince me otherwise.
I remember my slide floating down a canal. Sofa covered in debris. Classic board games I’d collected and so carefully preserved disappeared. Sky where once was a roof. Our neighbor so jovial the eve before, walking waist deep in water. I remember finding a photo of my father on his wedding day laying on the floor by mounds of debris. The colors washed into each other leaving a stained blur. Those are the losses that hurt most.
My parents ingrained in me during that time, “things can be replaced people can’t” I thank them for being so brave and strong, not letting us see the fear I now realize they surely felt.
My heart is heavy. Hurricane Andrew was a painful experience, but a blip on the radar next to the tragedies that have occured less than a year of each other, the Tsunami, now this Hurricane…
TV news leaves most of us jaded, but who is unaffected by the images on the screen?
May God watch over you all tonight….. and as we pay $3 at the pump…. may the rest of us keep perspective.