President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Alabama last night as tornadoes ripped across the state leaving a path of complete destruction in its wake and taking the lives of over 160 in AL alone. I was shocked when I saw the video footage of the F4-F5 tornado in Tuscaloosa, AL this morning. I had never seen anything like that, except on the movie Twister I watched last night. (Click here to view some footage and photos taken from Yahoo News video and photos of devastation )
As I type this, I am sitting outside soaking up the sun in the cool light breeze. It is truly a beautiful afternoon. It’s hard to believe that something so destructive came through our state last night. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the Tornado. We were spared in our area and kept safe. I can’t even imagine losing everything I owned. Yet, that is the realization for so many today and not even three hours away from where we live. The storm uprooted homes and lives and here I sit with my home, car, personal belongings all around me safe and secure. I hate to always go so deep on here, but I can’t help but take a moment and reflect on everything in my life at the moment and feel so blessed.
What I am most thankful for: (pay no attention to the order)
- My faith
- Health- Bugaboo is recovering fine from RSV and strep
- Home- even though I whine and complain about it all the time, I am content. Destruction and loss tends to put things in perspective.
- Personal Photos- I don’t realize how often I take something as simple as photos for granted, but listening to reports where people lost all personal photos and belongings touches home. I’d be lost without my photos.
- My big comfy bed
- Air conditioning
- Running electricity
- Phone/ access to internet service to keep in touch with loved ones.
- Food- there are many who are now relying on shelters, friends, and family
I could go on and on, but really, I laugh at the things that I worry, whine, and complain about sometimes. My little annoyances in life are nothing compared to what many others face each day. Today, after watching the video footage, viewing the photos, and hearing the stories of people who lost everything, is enough to make my inner self say, “Hey Katie, go easy on your ugly tile in bathroom, or the fact that you haven’t cooked one meal from the meal plan yet this week, or that you have an extra layer (ok, several extra layers) of cushion on your body, that not all your resolutions have gone according to plan. Just be thankful and content with everything and yourself today and take focus from you and place it on others.”
There are plenty of days left in the year for me to work on achieving my goals, but for today, I’m going to be thankful for everything in my life, even the little annoying things, and see what I can do to help the people in Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas. I’m going to start by going through my closet this evening and collect clothes and other items that I do not wear or use anymore to donate.
I tried to take some photos of how beautiful it is outside now but can’t find my cord that transfers photos to my computer, but if you could see what I’m looking at and then Google Tuscaloosa, AL, and see what they are looking at, it may force you take things into perspective too. I’m glad I went deep for a moment. It keeps me grounded, real. I am proud to have a bleeding heart and thankful that I am able to show empathy and understanding towards others in less fortunate situations. I think that is why I enjoy being a social worker so much at times. I don’t ever want to take my life for granted. I get so caught up in silly material things all the time that I quickly forget it can all be taken away in a moment. It makes you realize what you DO have and appreciate them even more.
Anyway, to lighten things up a tad, here is a photo I took of Bugaboo the other day when he was at home sick. For some reason, his new spot to go potty is under the piano and I caught him mid moment. I was trying to get a smile out of him, because he had been so miserable all morning, and after making some silly stinky faces, he gave in and laughed along with me… you can see in photo that even Buzz Light-year had to hide his face from the stench. I’m just so thankful that all we did have to deal with was RSV and strep and nothing more serious than that. Although he was sick and I would have traded spots with him in an instant, I did enjoy spending two extra days at home with him. That is one thing… I don’t ever take my time with him for granted.
Spend some time being thankful this Thursday!