Kansas City was spared from a devastating ice storm yesterday. Our friends in Oklahoma were not as lucky.
Mary Beth and I made all of the necessary preparations. We checked the batteries in the flashlights, made sure we had plenty of bottled water and canned food, and made certain our gas fireplace was working.
The storm hit us with a glancing, but substantial blow and we are still standing. We are still functioning because we didn’t lose our power.
Throughout the night I fought sleep because I wanted to hear the storm as it approached; I didn’t want it to surprise me. Laying in the darkness with the warmth of my wife next to me, my mind raced back to all of those times in my life when I had to survive similar storms. Not storms created by nature, but storms created by my reality.
Images of Thanksgivings when my mother was incapable of preparing our family dinner because of alcohol or depression, or both; images of the dog chasing my brother into the tractor that took his leg; images of the other boys taunting me and bullying me into the point of submission resonated in my mind as I heard the ice begin to pelt the window.
Regret or pity did not occur to me. Instead, I felt an incredible amount of resolve and success to be where I am today. Those storms damaged by self-confidence and limited the value of my self-worth, but they didn’t take my soul and they didn’t claim my heart.