Tsunamis and earthquakes make the headlines and our hearts and prayers reach out to the people of Japan.
Yet private disasters happen every day and sooner or later to all of us.
Every week, I see patients with life-changing injuries, serious traffic accidents and emotional trauma. An individual’s life can be put on hold coping with the overwhelming.
This week with our deluge of rain, my friend’s basement was flooded. She still had to go to work, wondering about the damage to her home and the antique family furniture that she wasn’t able to move.
This triggered my earliest childhood memories of a flood in my family’s Mount Pleasant home. I was only four, my sister two. We sat in the kitchen eating freshly baked and buttered bread that I can still smell and taste today.
I never knew the extent of the damage but I know my mom’s treasured photo albums were irreparably damaged. Forever lost were her personal photos of friends and family, including her sister, mom and dad who all died during her own childhood – another loss among a history of greater heartbreaking losses.
I remember all my aunts and uncles who came without hesitation to help out my parents, moving our furniture and valuables out of the basement and carrying away buckets of water.
What my mom told me was true. I remember her saying when I was a teen, “Your friends and girlfriends may seem more important to you now, but value your family. This family will always be here for you and will never abandon you.”
An exercise in happiness: When confronting the major and minor disasters of life, look for and accept the grace that may come with them. Appreciate what matters most and that which endures.
While accepting tragedy, loss and disasters, we accept also the grace of family and friends.
When others need help, be the grace in their lives.