Sitting at my desk this morning in Denver, I am sending thoughts and prayers to the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. The videos, images, and news reports coming from Houston and other locations along the Texas Gulf Coast are truly unbelievable and heartbreaking. I lived in Houston many years ago when I was working in the oil business. So, I am somewhat familiar with Houston and the surrounding area. I also have dear friends who live in Houston. Consequently, I have been tracking the storm and texting my friends since Harvey came onshore. The obvious destruction (initial and future) is mind-boggling. But the images that grab my heart and resonate in my soul are those of the extraordinary caregivers —ordinary people caring for each other during EXTRAordinary times in EXTRAordinary ways. I am in awe of their courage, compassion, and caring spirits.
Last night before falling asleep in my dry, safe, cozy bed, my thoughts were of those people confronted by the unfolding catastrophe. The contrast between my comfortable conditions and the pervasive discomfort along the Texas coast was stark—generating a wave of guilt. There are SO many people dealing with SO much! Unfathomable loss. Horrific conditions. Limited resources. I struggled to even imagine what the people along the Gulf Coast are thinking or feeling. How do you wrap your heart and mind around such sudden, massive change and loss? At this point, there are so many unknowns. The future is uncertain. However, in the aftermath of the storm, there is one thing that IS certain. Life will never be the same for those people caught in the wake of Harvey. Yes, life will go on. But the people will be forever changed by this event.
Although the situation is dire, I remain hope-FULL. As is evidenced by story after story, interview after interview, image after image—all is not lost. Yes, homes were lost. Cars were lost. Possessions were lost. But the people involved have retained their humanity—a sympathetic, empathetic, generous attitude toward one another. Images viewed and comments heard on the television and internet reflect the EXTRAordinary care selflessly offered and graciously received by those affect by Harvey:
- First responders risking their lives to rescue people from the rising waters
- Volunteers setting up and staffing shelters
- Neighbors helping neighbors
- Newscasters transmitting messages for families
- Strangers reaching out to strangers—resulting in new and needed friendships
- Dry clothes and hot meals offered by folks with welcoming smiles and open arms
- Families coming together and staying together—determined to prevail
- Family pets included in the rescue operations (You know I LOVE my pets!)
- Expressions of gratitude despite tremendous loss—LIFE is THE priority
So today, I will continue to pray for the people affected by this historic storm. The immediate challenge is daunting enough, but the aftermath of Harvey is projected to be an even greater challenge—financially, logistically, socially, and emotionally. Consequently, EXTRAordinary care is not only needed (and wanted) today but will also be essential in the months and years to come as individuals work to rebuild their lives and their communities. A commitment to courageous, compassionate, and consistent care is vitally important as the people along the Gulf Coast contemplate the future.
I look forward to the ongoing conversation. If you have specific questions or concerns related to your caregiving experience, I would love to hear from you. Until the next posting, I wish you and yours countless blessings…jane
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