FOCUS, shifting my

I got caught up in myself last week as a long awaited vacation became the trip from hell. I desperately needed a break I didn’t receive as one disaster after another befell our trek south.

We hopped in the car toward our perfect, stress-free paradise but it didn’t take long to burst that bubble. My husband was hurt our first day on the road. Then a day or two later the earthquake in Virginia rattled our resort. I got toppled in a rip tide. And not long after came the watch for Hurricane Irene.

The monster storm dominated the waking thoughts of everyone at our hotel. So, our week was spent in hospitals, in front of news alerts, and in decision-making mode. What to do? Go home or stay?

We finally decided to leave early and made it back after 16 hours in frantic traffic two feet ahead of the monster which then roared in and littered our yard with huge, broken tree limbs. But in the aftermath, as the chipper guys attacked the mess, I had a thought. Yeah, my yard was a wreck, and my vacation stank, but a good friend a few towns over lost power for days along with everything in her fridge and freezer.

People all over our state saw devastation far beyond what we had to cope with in our little realm. Folks up Mindy’s way saw historic covered bridges swept downstream in the floods and roads dissolve beneath their cars. People died!

Every once in a while you get an aha moment that’s meant to give you pause. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Yes, our vacation tanked, and we returned more exhausted than when we left after spending a fortune. But in that time, we got closer as a family. We laughed a lot. We worried. Some of us cried. OK, I cried.

We pulled together to get home in time to secure our house and animals. Because of it we have stories to tell and laughs to share. And, we are all in one piece.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with life’s surprises. Someone once said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have to say it was never truer than in this family.

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About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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