Bring on the Rain

As I sat outside my hotel in Paintsville, Kentucky tonight, I watched the rain start. A few drops, followed by a steadier drizzle, and the ensuing downpour were soothing to me as I thought about the day today, and the last few days. When we left off, I was in Tappahanock, Virginia working on a job in the hurricane zone. The east coast was deluged with water from the time Irene came ashore through today, when the remnants of lee made there way into New England and the surrounding states. And in typical fashion Belfor was there to begin the cleanup and rebuilding process.

The stories of storms in the lives around me, and to some extent myself, inspired this blog tonight. I considered not writing at all, but as I sat in thought I knew the words I had inside me were much better expressed in writing than in spoken word. I know me. And I know I get lost in my own thoughts and trip over my own words when in conversation. So I choose this blog, this open letter to the world, to be my voice when things get overwhelming.

Anyone who reads this column knows that my most prized possession in the world is my pocket watch. Given to me by my mother, it is a simple token that is priceless to me. A friend of mine has a similar symbol of something bigger that she keeps with her. Within reach most of the time, this tiny cross and the beds attached to it are a symbol of where she has been and what she has overcome. When a thief decided her car was his next treasure chest, the cross disappeared along with her purse. Now she searches in desperation for this trinket that is worth almost nothing to anyone else but is priceless to her. I would say to her that as important as this is too you, and as much as it would hurt me to lose my pocketwatch, it doesn't take away the progress you have made. You are still you, and the actions of a common criminal can never take that from you.

Another friend texted me today and told me she feels lost and alone. From the outside one would have no idea, but recent medical issues have got her turned all different ways and she is trying so hard to find which way is up. I would tell her that you are a survivor and always have been. From the time you were a kid you have overcome so much and look at your life now. A husband who adores you, children who think you hung the moon, and a life worth living. You have come so far from the day that I met you, and even when things get down, you are never alone.

I cannot imagine the pain that is being felt by a friend from work. At six months pregnant, this expectant mother was so anxious to welcome her daughter to the world. Baby showers, redecorating, and even choosing a name were all events that had come and gone. Yet as rare as a strike of lightning, a genetic anomaly took her from expectant mother to grieving shell in the blink of an eye. A very sad email to colleagues and clients weighed heavily on my heart as I read it. I wanted to reply and tell her how sorry I am for the loss, but just couldn't find the words. What do you say to someone who has lost their child? Instead, I said a prayer for her and her husband as they handle this unbelievable tragedy.

In closing, I feel for all of the people I spoke about above. Maybe tonight's blog isn't a world changer or tear jerker. But it is written to remind me that no matter how badly I think I have it, someone always has it worse. It is in these words that Tiffany finds her strength, and it is a lesson she is trying to teach me.


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