Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hurricanes & Holidays

Hurricane Isaac via Air Force Times
As I sit in the laundromat, I am thinking---of all of these people around me, were any of them affected by Hurricane Isaac?

You know, 
why even ask that question?

Most likely all of us were in some way---evacuation, hunkering down, power outage, family/friends/even themselves who lost everything...

Regardless, here we all are---carrying on life in whatever way is our current norm.

Looking back over the past week of post-hurricane life I would say that, yes, life did carry on as usual for many. The holiday that started the post-hurricane week was for many, however, truly fulfilling of its name - Labor Day. As a matter of fact, most of our recent, major hurricanes have ironically coincided with that supposed "labor-free" holiday. For many who are in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac or have been in the aftermath of other hurricanes, however, that day has too often consisted of cleaning debris and trying to get your life and home back to some semblance of normal.

Thankfully Isaac was gentle on my family's things, but I do have some dear friends and co-workers who cannot say the same.

Some lost all. Others lost some.

Many experienced traumatizing emotions at the very least.

And, oh, Tuesday---that first day back to "normal life" after the hurricane and the holiday. A day I do not want to relive, yet for no specific reason other than one word - overwhelmed! I am not sure if others can say the same, but it seemed everything I missed during my evacuation not only waited for my return but brought extra duties and decisions along with it.

I can only imagine what that day was like for so many others, though. I truly should be thankful rather than complaining and becoming overwhelmed with frustration.

One thing I know, however, is that these precious people I know and love here in South Louisiana will endure. Not only will they endure but they will thrive in a way that few others would. 

I have learned a bit of the secret to 
their undying joy and resolve.

You see, when you prepare for a hurricane---whether it be to evacuate or "hunker down"---you quickly undergo a perspective adjustment that will likely remain with you forever. (It has stayed with me since my first hurricane four years ago.) Suddenly you realize you can't protect everything from potential harm and destruction. If you begin to try, you wear yourself out mentally and physically quite fast. Once you come to that realization an unexplainable peace comes over you (or at least it did me). You begin to realize what---or rather who---matters most. As you recognize that preparing yourself and your family and close friends for safety throughout the hurricane is what matters most of all in hurricane prep, you have then reached the ultimate perspective adjustment. 

All of the trivets you own---big and small, precious and insignificant---all of them are just things. Some may take more work, money, and effort to replace but still they are replaceable.

And most of all, I have seen the way these precious people trust God and lean on Him as their strength in these trying times. So many give testimony unashamedly of how He has protected them, provided for them, and even rebuilt them.

This, my friends, is why I love South Louisiana.


Charlotte said...

Thank you for sharing this thought provoking post. It is at times like these that we fully realize the important things in life. Labor Day weekend is not a good time for me. Both of my parents died on Labor Day weekend exactly one year apart. September 3, 1998 and September 3, 1999. I've never been through a hurricane for which I am very thankful. Of course it would be pretty unusual to have a hurricane in Arizona. LOL or California where I lived most of my life. There are many storms in life though, not just weather related ones.

Anonymous said...

That is an absolutely beautiful perspective to take. I'm up in Ohio, so we're not hit with many opportunities to take on the right perspective. At least not natural circumstances.

Haelie said...

Hi Charlotte,
Thank you for stopping by! What is it with Labor Day weekend, huh?! ;) Thankfully our God is bigger than those sad and tough things that happen around it. Love you!

Haelie said...

Hi offsetinnocence!
Thank you for stopping by as well. I appreciate your kind words. I do hope my perspective change helped you a bit to consider one since you don't have many opportunities up there like we do down here for it to happen naturally.
Blessings to you,