For many…the past few days have been focused around a storm that has been described in different ways. Two words that seem to be consistently used by those in the media and those who personally tell about what has just happened are “devastating” and “destructive”.
These same two words apply to stories told by my sister who lives on Long Island. She and my brother-in-law, as well as a niece who had been evacuated from a college in Connecticut, endured the 90 mph winds and the harrowing moments that were brought on Monday, October 29. At 6:00 PM that evening…the final text to me said “We have run out of luck…lost our power…”. No more communication would occur until the following day.
One can never understand what a brief text at 8:30 AM on a Tuesday could bring in the way of emotions. Relief, joy, concern, helpless, frustration, and sadness all seemed to combine into one feeling. It had a name…however, I could not state what it was. My sister described, later during one phone call, that many things had happened around them…a tree had fallen into the bedroom of the house behind her…a tree had struck a dad and killed him while he and his family were trying to get to another’s home on a nearby street…a house had been destroyed by an explosion. It was if I was listening to her telling me what she was seeing on television. What became instantly apparent…what I was viewing on television was what my sister and others were living.
And then…people began to do what always renews and re-energizes my faith…they began to rally to help wherever there were needs. Convoys of electrical equipment and trucks traveled to the eastern coast to help with what needed to be done to save people and restore power. Medical staff…especially nurses…helped to evacuate an entire hospital and made sure that young babies were safe and moved to other locations. Emergency crews, policemen, and fire fighters immediately responded and began to live past what most of us know as a 40 hours work week. Good began to take over…and communities began to respond to the needs of others.
I recently presented, via Skype, to the Education Club on campus. When I was finished speaking about the topic I had been given to address…I added that the students needed to seek out those students on campus who may have links with family members and friends who are there in the midst of the “devastation” and “destruction”. Whether it is New York City or New Jersey or West Virginia…there are those at Saint Vincent who, like me, anticipate hearing from a loved one, possibly each day, and who listen, eventually, to descriptions that challenge the mind whenever it comes to “reality”.
May we all discover ways to help during this moment in time. Yes…we have endured so many other situations throughout the years and…always, it seems…changed the words “devastating” and “destructive” into “improving” and “productive”. The discovery of people who are in need will lead you to realizing that listening is a gift that has been given and the time to use that gift is during times like the one we are experiencing now.
There are no links I am providing for this particular blog except for one…our link with God. Thank you Holy Father for guiding people so that they may help those in need…and do the good you have asked be done. I also request you pray for the PS 22 students and their teacher Gregg who are on Staten Island…may they all be safe.
If you are a student at Saint Vincent College or some other place and wish to post your story that may be linked with the storm…please share with others by adding your post below.