On September 10th, Hurricane Irma was predicted to hit Central Florida, and I was clueless as to what to do. This was the first hurricane I would experience in my new home. I had water. I had gas. I had peanut butter and bread. My home is in front of a pond. Would it flood? There are several, beautiful pane-less windows and doors, would they break? Should they be boarded with wood? Could I find someone to do it?
I was touched that an old friend and colleague from Atlanta had invited me to her home but I politely declined. I had no idea what to expect and quietly made peace with the fact that I could literally die.
I met my next door neighbor the day before the storm hit and she allayed some of my fears about the pond. For the next 30 minutes we bonded, exchanged phone numbers and I promised I’d come over if things got too scary.
My neighborhood lost cable at 7:30 p.m. and then power 3 hours later. The storm came with a vengeance but the next morning, gratefully, my home was intact. No major damage, only torn screens.
My yard was a disaster filled with debris but ironically, the neighbor across the street was someone I knew but hadn’t seen in over 15 years. He showed me how to get my garage door open without power. We contracted a beautiful family who owned a landscaping business that was cleaning up our neighbor’s yard. They were from the country that our 45th President wanted to build a dreadful wall to them keep out. How ironic it is that the very people he wants to exclude are the people that help our economy the most.
Neither my sons nor their father called to see how I was doing but 18 friends and family members did. What I learned from surviving that hurricane is that I was never alone. The power of love is far greater than the power of fear. God’s love through his angels that walk right here on earth were always with me. I didn’t die. I got stronger.