I’ve had 2 single instances in my life where I truly thought I was going to die. The first was when a man pulled a knife on my ex-husband and me in the middle of the interstate.
The second instance was last night.
When there is a serious crisis, I begin to process and ultimately heal by telling stories that reside within my heart. So here goes.
Last night my husband Chaz and I went to bed around 9:30 p.m. We knew there was going to be a storm but my typical nature with storms is to say a prayer before bed and trust that all will be okay. As we lay down my sister-in-law (PhD in meteorology) texted us and said: these storms are no joke, be careful. We decided to turn our phones on loud and Chaz planned to try to stay awake to watch the radar.
Fast forward to around 11:35 p.m. I wake up to what sounds like the loudest crashing noises with the earth shaking. I now believe it was trees falling all around us. I jump to look out the window. The wind is horrendous, the rain is a downpour and the lightning looks like strobe lights. I run down the hallway to grab Forrest, my little one, from his crib. As I get to his room I see that he is sitting up with his little legs straight out watching the lightning through his window: a show of bright lights and colors for his innocent, precious mind. I carry him into our room as Chaz prepares our closet for us sit with our mattress over us.
Forrest is typically a very expressive child with many feelings. Last night he sat absolutely as still as a church mouse in my lap within the closet. I was shaking like a leaf but reassured him with words, kisses & hugs that mama and daddy would keep him safe.
My sister-in-law texted us updates as to the location of the tornado. When she said, it’s right over you. Are you okay? Please text me back. These were the moments I prayed. Not for my wellbeing, not for our home, not for our cars but for our precious baby boy. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him. Including risk my own life to save his.
The train noise started to get louder, the house felt like it was shaking. I called my mom. I then called my dad. Both sounded scared. Both sounded unsure of our wellbeing. Neither could tell me that we would be okay.
Within 3 minutes which felt like an eternity, the storm had passed and the calm was beginning. The nearly creepy silence was overwhelming after the absolute terror we had just experienced. Phones were hard to connect to make texts or calls or send messages but little by little they went through.
Once we reached nearly all of our friends and family our brains immediately went to our store, Nutrition World. When you own a business, you don’t have one home, you have two. So we loaded the car and went to check on our store. We were blessed to see our store was completely fine. But the drive there showed us that so many people, houses and lives were not fine. They were far from it.
I sat here tonight after I cooked a warm meal organizing my spices, the flavors of life that I love so much. I made sure they were all front-facing. I’m searching for normalcy yet while touching these spices I can’t help but weep at how fortunate we are. All of our loved ones are alive and safe. None of my family or extended family lost their houses and even our power was restored within 12 hours. How did my little family get so lucky?
It nearly seems unfair how blessed we’ve been when I look around and see others who are so greatly affected. My heart aches for families who aren’t able to walk back into their bedroom for a good night of sleep. My heart aches for everybody whose safe haven is now no more. And even worse my heart is aching for people who all have been told “stay in your homes”; yet they have no home to return to.
There’s no amount of sugar coating or positive thinking that can tell us that anything but the fact that these are challenging times. One of my best ways to deal with a situation is to just accept the reality of the moment and know that it won’t last even as hard as that moment may be. No storm lasts forever. Not one.
This post is just a long rant to say: I’m sorry if you’ve been affected by this storm; I’m so sorry if you feel even more lost than you did prior to this storm; I’m so sorry if normalcy isn’t even in your vocabulary anymore. I’m just so sorry.
I do know for an absolute fact that most things in life become our teachers if we allow them. This storm, this virus and anything else you may be feeling can show us the fragility of life. We are never granted tomorrow. But we can give thanks for every tomorrow that we do have. I went to bed kissing Forrest an extra few times, listening to Chaz breathe as he fell asleep and thanking God for keeping us safe.
This post has little to do with these spices, some mild and some tart. At the same time, it has everything to do with them.