As most of you know, I live in Alabama…northwest Alabama, to be more precise. If you watch the news, have a Facebook, use Twitter, or, let’s face it, have a pulse then you know about the tremendous catastrophe that occurred to my state (and my area of the state, in particular) as well as many other Southern states.
A very small town just 20 miles north of us, Hackleburg, has been basically wiped off the map. It is so bad there that they have run out of body bags and are having to use blue tarp materials to bag the bodies of those lost in Wednesday's furious storm. One of the main employers in this tiny town was the Wrangler jeans plant…this is what it looks like now:
Tuscaloosa, just 70 miles to the southeast of us, is trying to pull itself from massive destruction. There are still nearly 200 people unaccounted for in Tuscaloosa alone.
My family here as well as my precious sister and nephews in Mississippi all escaped the carnage with our lives and our property in tact. We are so very, very lucky.
This morning is the first time we’ve had electricity since Wednesday afternoon about 4:30pm. Our entire town had no power for 2 1/2 days so everyone here has lost all their refrigerated foods which, in the grand scheme of things is a tiny loss compared to the losses others sustained in this bout of Mother Nature’s rage.
It is times like these that I reflect on what is really important in this life of mine. It really isn’t the ‘stuff’, the things but it is the people that are essential; the rest is just icing on the cake…the extras. It has sure made clearing out and packing so much easier. I started with a closet overflowing with clothes and shoes but with so much need in this area, I had no problem weeding my HUGE amount of clothes, shoes, socks, nighties and purses amassed over years down to barely a sliver of what it began as (48” closet rod that was packed overfull down to about 12-14” of clothes.) The rest has been donated to tornado victim relief.
I will be doing Richie’s closet later today and doing the same with his excess. Seriously, how much clothing do we really need in life? Or furniture? Or blankets, sheets, etc?
I even realized that electricity, the internet and TV aren’t such big deals to me anymore, at least not like they were just 3 or 4 days ago. I’ve learned in a short time how precious and sacred the quiet and stillness really are for me. I have realized what life would be like without city lights obscuring the stars at night and I actually liked it. It’s the first time in I can’t tell you how long that I have curled up in bed at night, shortly after dark, next to my love, our feet tangled together, hearing nothing but the crickets chirping and his breath as it slows, giving way to sleep.
It has given me time to reflect on things.
I believe this horrible episode of nature’s ferocity has changed me, deeply. I imagine it has changed many people.
For the next month (today through the end of May,) any donations made using that little button at the top left sidebar will be 100% donated to the Hackleburg, Alabama victims fund. Not to the Red Cross, although they are a great source of help, but directly to the victims via the local fund raising sources that will aid the homeless, injured and otherwise damaged folks in this area.
You can donate by clicking here.
I encourage you to reach deep and let’s help out some folks who, in a split second, have been left with nothing, some who now are even without family left (my friend, Leah, lost both of her parents in the storms.)
Peace & Love,