Collateral Beauty

It is still difficult for me to drive into our city without crying. I’ve gotten more used to seeing the broken pieces of our neighbor’s homes lining the street. People in body suits & respiratory masks have become a familiar part of the landscape. These things no longer provoke my tears. But I cannot seem to get used to these death stamps on our roof tops. I do not want to learn what the letters mean. Symbols for some soul was inside needing rescue or that it was too late. I cannot seem to reconcile the presence of these marks in the neighborhood I loved so much.

It has been 25 days since the mandatory evacuation. Hurricane Harvey had not even technically hit yet when the water in our yard flooded waist deep, one road already impassable by car, and we were visited by emergency services shouting the simple statement, “it is time to go.”

We had anticipated this moment but try as we did, we weren’t prepared for what it really meant. And in those moments as we drove to be reunited with the girls & our animals that had evacuated ahead of us, we made a promise to ourselves & each other.
We promised to keep our hearts open to the collateral beauty.
And this is what saved us.
We could sit around recounting those scary, difficult days. It is likely no-one would judge us for grieving the many sentimental items we have all lost. We could get really comfortable feeling sad or lamenting our situation.
Or we could allow ourselves instead to focus on the beauty of all the blessings around us.
We do get sad. We do grieve. We even get angry here and there. But mostly we stay grateful. Grateful for family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, & compassionate strangers who send to us hope & encouragement through words, gifts, resources, by sharing their talents & their time.
We are very grateful for all the amazing people that have shown up in our lives. Y’all are our light & we Love you for it. ♥️

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