Earlier in my office today when someone was writing their earnest money deposit check and asked what the date is. It's November 22nd. So some of you may remember where you were on this date in 1963, but since I was born yet.... The assassination of Kennedy is just history to me, not MY history
But 24 years ago today it was the Sunday before Thanksgiving and with my daughter with me I was out at a class reunion meeting. We were planning our 10 year reunion and it got really really stormy so I left early so I could get home. I drove right into the heart of the storm. Driving down the highway toward my street it was like the clouds just came down to the road and there was a huge roll of thunder that went on and on and on. Didn't sound like a train to me so I had no idea it was a tornado. And when the "funnel" cloud is on the ground it doesn't look like a funnel anymore either.
I remember when it started to hail big ole golf ball size hail I thought it was going to break my windshield, but there was no place to seek shelter. I did pull over and get my daughter out of her car seat and put her in the floorboard under a coat and put my body over her because I was fearful the hail was going to break out the windshield. And then as fast as it started it passed. So I got my baby girl buckled back in and headed on home with her... well I tried to.
When I got a mile from my house I had to stop because there was a tree crossing the road. It was a BIG tree. I pulled into the neighbor's driveway and he came out to see and told me I could drive around his lawn and to get around the tree. He didn't have time to go try to remove it because a tree was through his dining room window. So I drove through his yard and headed toward home. There was another smaller tree in the road and I could see by now that entire houses were missing off their foundation so I was in a shear panic to get to my parents so I got out and pushed the tree out of the road. I couldn't move that tree today, but that day at that moment I just did it.
I actually met my dad driving out in a strange car. My parents cars were trapped inside the garage. My dad was driving another neighbor to the hospital who lost an eye from flying debris. He stopped me to warn me to be super careful about downed power lines. I got home but not before driving by 7 homes that were gone. Cars were gone, It was how I imagine a war zone might look with a mass area of total devastation. It was so sad. I've never seen a war torn neighborhood first hand, but I imagine it looks much the same.
I was thankful to see my mom and she was relieved to see me and Abigail. We didn't even have power that Thanksgiving. That experience did two things for me.... I always have a level of identification with people when I see natural disasters on the news and it gave Thanksgiving an entire new meaning for me. I am always so grateful for my blessings and my family. I learned 24 years ago that life is fleeting. I knew three people killed that day. I learned to never miss an opportunity to tell family and friends you love them. I never end a phone conversation with family without saying I love you. You never know if it will be the last time you talk to someone. If you love people, tell them.
I hope all of you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. My ActiveRain peeps are my extended family. I love you guys. I can turn to you for support and help. I can share my joys and you celebrate with me. I can share my sorrows and you grieve with me.. I hope each of you have a blessed day and remember you are only given today, you are only given this moment. Make it count.
In light of the division in our country with the recent election cycle I would like to ask ALL of you to spread some kindness this week. Don't let someones choice of candidate or support of candidate make you fail to love them as another human being? Stop and think about it, have the people you are no longer "respecting" ever exhibited behavior that you thought were unkind to others? Can't we all just move forward and pray for our country and its leaders. Hug a little tighter and tell your friends you care. We can't let politics stop us from being decent humans to each other.